HC Deb 13 June 1986 vol 99 cc363-4W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total expenditure on mobility allowance; and, of this, how much is spent (a) on administration and (b) on appeals against decisions.

Mr. Newton

In 1985–86 payments of mobility allowance amounted to an estimated £430 million. No figures are available for the administrative cost of appeals against decisions, but the latest available information indicates that in 1984–85 the total cost of administering the allowance, including appeals, was about £10 million.

Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current total number of claimants for mobility allowance; and how many new claimants there have been for each year since 1980.

Mr. Newton

Four hundred and twenty six thousand three hundred people are currently receiving mobility allowance. The net increase in the number of recipients for each year since 1980 is as follows:

1980 *46,200
1981 25,800
1982 42,700
1983 49,000
1984 51,000
1985 53,100
* The 1980 figure is high because it includes claimants in the 61–65 age group who could claim for the first time for September 1979 onwards under the phasing arrangements.

Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many representations he has received (a) from individuals and (b) from organisations on the eligibility requirements of mobility allowance; and what has been the nature of these representations.

Mr. Newton

We regularly receive a wide range of representations from individuals and organisations of disabled people about the qualifying conditions for mobility allowance. These include representations to extend or abolish the age limits; to include disabled people who can walk but need guidance or supervision to make use of their walking ability; to include specific groups such as the blind and deaf-blind, the mentally handicapped and autistic children; to include people with specific medical conditions such as epilepsy or agoraphobia; to take account of personal factors such as the availability of public transport and the ability to use it; and to make the allowance means-tested.

Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) for each year since 1980, how many renewal claims have been made for mobility allowance; of these, how many have been unsuccessful; how many have gone on to appeal; and how many of these have been successful;

(2) what are the principal reasons why renewal claimants of mobility allowance fail to have their mobility allowance renewed; and how many have been disallowed mobility allowance despite no change in their medical condition.

Mr. Newton

Information about the number of renewal claims for mobility allowance in 1980 and 1981 is not available. The figures for subsequent years are as follows:

Number of renewal claims decided Number of renewal claims unsuccessful
1982 21,240 4,110
1983 19,500 3,050
1984 23,950 4,050
1985 27,520 5,020

I regret that our records do not include the reasons for disallowance of renewal claims or information about the number of these claims which went to appeal and their outcome.