§ Mr. Ashton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will introduce legislation to ensure that working people who have lost a leg are awarded mobility allowance to help them keep their jobs.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
Mobility allowance is designed for the outdoor mobility needs of severely disabled people aged between 5 and pensionable age who are unable or virtually unable to walk, regardless of where they live and of whether or not they work. To add an employment criterion to the present criteria for entitlement would bring back anomalies that the new scheme was designed to remove. Under the former scheme, which had an employment criterion, hardship was often caused by the withdrawal of mobility help from disabled people who ceased to be employed. This was one reason why we deliberately opted for medical criteria alone when we intro-72W duced the mobility allowance scheme. By the end of next year, the scheme is expected to be giving mobility help to a total of 100,000 new beneficiaries, at an added cost of £52 million. We have no plans to change the conditions for eligibility.