§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimate of the number of people who will be in receipt of mobility allowance at the end of the current financial year and the end of each of the next five financial years, respectively;
(2) what is his estimate of the total expenditure on the mobility allowance in the current financial year and in each of the next five years, respectively.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
There are at present over 27,000 people in receipt of mobility allowance. By the end of next March, it is reasonable to expect that there might be of the order of 35,000–40,000 beneficiaries. Expenditure on the new allowance in the current financial year might, therefore, be of the order of £7.5 million. Numbers likely to be in receipt of the allowance in subsequent financial years, and the expenditure in those years, can only be conjectural at this stage. They will depend upon how many claimants are found eligible in each successive age group, and also upon the numbers who eventually transfer from vehicle service benefits once the necessary legislation is passed. In a full year, when the new allowance is fully phased in, we expect the cost to my Department, 133W at the current rate of benefit, to be of the order of £26 million for about 100,000 new beneficiaries.