HC Deb 17 February 1978 vol 944 cc419-20W
Mr. Onslow

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many members of the adult population are known to be disabled, within the terms of the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) Regulations 1975.

Mr. Alfred Morris

Some of the criteria set out in the regulations refer to particular and easily identifiable groups of disabled people. They are users of departmental vehicles—some 28,000 in England and Wales; people in receipt of a private car allowance—some 20,000; and other disabled people whose vehicles are exempt from road tax perhaps 2,000, mostly adults. Some 100,000 people registered as blind are also eligible to be issued with badges. The remaining criteria require a judgment to be formed of the degree of difficulty in walking or control of the lower limbs caused to the individual applicant by his disability, or of his dependence on the use of a wheelchair outside the home. The number of disabled adults who might be found to satisfy these criteria is not known. However, an approximation to the number can be gained from the 1971 Office of Population Censuses and Surveys inquiry "Handicapped and Impaired in Great Britain", which indicated that some 1.4 million physically impaired people aged 16 and over in England and Wales either cannot get out on their own or can do so only with an aid and/or with some difficulty.

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