HC Deb 28 July 1976 vol 916 cc316-8W
Mr. Patrick Jenkin

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will estimate the number of people now over 50 years of age eligible for mobility allowance who will now reach retirement age before mobility allowances becomes payable to them who would have expected to receive mobility allowance before reaching retirement age prior to his statement of 23rd July;

(2) if he will make a statement about his new proposals for phasing in the remaining tranches of mobility allowance, indicating where this revised timing differs from original plans; and if he will indicate the savings which the new proposals involve.

Mr. Ennals

The proposals which I announced on 23rd July—[Vol. 915, c. 2229–31.]—will mean that our phasing in of the mobility allowance will take a few months longer than we originally envisaged. The overall numbers likely to qualify for the allowance are somewhat conjectural, however, and successive stages by which the phasing in programme leads up to the terminal date must be settled in the light of experience. Thus I am afraid that it is impossible to forecast the numbers who might qualify in any particular age group, or the precise time when the age group will become eligible. No savings will accrue under the new proposals, since the extra cost of providing mobility allowance for present vehicle service beneficaries will balance the reduction in expenditure on the main body of mobility allowance beneficiaries which will result from the new phasing in.