HC Deb 08 February 1977 vol 925 cc624-5W
26. Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received to date concerning the extension of granting the mobility allowance to those over 65 years of age to enable persons of every age to benefit from the scheme according to their needs.

Mr. Alfred Morris

I have received a number of representations on this issue, from hon. Members, from various organisations representing handicapped people, and from individuals. This is not surprising because, as we have said repeatedly, the question here is not one of principle but of cost. It would have been wrong to wait until sufficient resources were available to provide mobility allowance irrespective of age; and the general limitations of the allowance to people below pensionable age reflects the very substantial extra cost—about £125 million—of covering people over that age.

45. Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many claims for mobility allowance have been made so far on behalf of handicapped children in the age groups 5 to 10 years: and what estimate has been made of the total number of children eligible for this allowance.

Mr. Alfred Morris

Since 12th January the number of claims to the new allowance which have been made on behalf of handicaped children in the age-group 5 to 10 years is just over 3,000. Independent estimates have suggested that eventually as many as 30,000 children between 5 and 15 years of age may benefit from mobility allowance.

58. Mr. Sainsbury

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether it is his intention to increase the mobility allowance at the time of the next social security uprating.

Mr. Alfred Morris

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Price) earlier today.