HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 cc711-2W
Mr. Crawford

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the cost to the Exchequer if the mobility allowance at current rates were extended to disabled people above the age of 65 years.

Mr. Alfred Morris

The immediate total cost of making mobility allowance available to all disabled people over 65 would be of the order of £260 million a year. The net cost to the Exchequer would be marginally less, since the allowance is taxable, but it is not possible to arrive at any reliable estimate of the likely off-set.

The Social Security Bill now before Parliament will enable women as well as men to qualify for mobility allowance up to the age of 65. It will also enable both men and women to retain their allowance up to the age of 75. These proposals will, at the current rate of £10 a week, cost a minimum of £35 million a year when fully operative.