HC Deb 16 February 1978 vol 944 cc345-6W
Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary for Social Services how many persons currently receive the mobility allowance and the attendance allowance; and how many receive both this allowance and the disability allowance.

Mr. Alfred Morris

At the latest date for which information is available, 65,000 people were currently receiving mobility allowance and 292,000 were receiving the attendance allowance.

I think that the second part of my hon. Friend's question refers to invalidity benefit. I regret that the information he requests is not available.

Mr. Newton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the estimated extra cost of paying a £7 per week mobility allowance to those over retirement age who were previously in receipt of the allowance before retirement age in (a) 1980–81 and (b) 1981–82; whether he will estimate the eventual total annual cost; and how many years it would take for that eventual cost to be attained.

Mr. Alfred Morris

The hon. Member will be aware that we are increasing the mobility allowance to £10 a week in July. On that basis, and making very broad assumptions about the likely number of awards over the period and their division between the sexes, the estimated cost of continuing allowances beyond retirement age for those brought into the scheme below pensionable age by the end of 1979 would be around (a) £2½ million in 1980–81 and (b) £4¾ million in 1981–82. I am not in a position to make a reliable estimate of the eventual total annual cost.