§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is now able to say when the next age group will be phased into the mobility allowance scheme.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
I am very pleased to announce that men and women born on or after 7 June 1918 will be invited to claim mobility allowance from 7 March 1979. They will start to receive payment396W of the allowance from 6 June. We estimate that some 8,000 disabled people aged 60 and under will be able to claim mobility allowance from 7 March. Initially, we shall be seeking to lay a commencement order before the House to cover men, but as soon as the Social Security Bill receives Royal Assent a further order will be laid to cover women. Meanwhile we shall, of course, accept claims from both men and women and will be doing all we can to publicise this further extension of the scheme.
I shall let the House have details of the timing for the phasing-in of the remaining age-groups as soon as possible. Our intention is to complete the phasing-in of the scheme by the end of 1979.