HC Deb 02 February 1978 vol 943 cc265-6W
Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has completed his study of the implications of the National Insurance Commissioner's decision in the case of Robert Edmunds; and if he is now able to make a statement.

Mr. Ennals

I have studied carefully the legal and medical implications of the Commissioner's decision in this case. I have concluded that, in order to achieve consistency and equity, I ought to make regulations for the avoidance of doubt. I hope to place a draft before the National Insurance Advisory Committee and then to lay the regulations before the House as soon as possible.

My aim is to ensure that people who have a physical condition which results in a mental handicap and as a consequence are unable to walk, receive mobility allowance. This will include all those suffering from Down's syndrome who are unable or virtually unable to walk. It cannot, of course, include those who are unable to walk by reason of mental disablement alone.

When the new regulations are made, we shall do all we can to bring them to the attention of those who may be eligible. This will include a scrutiny of cases which have been disallowed since mobility allowance was introduced.