§ Baroness Jeger
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What losses in money and concessions the blind will suffer under the provisions of the Social Security Bill, and whether any income tax concessions will be available to employed blind people.
§ Baroness Trumpington
The basic change specifically affecting blind people in the Social Security Bill is that supplementary benefit, under which a blind allowance is payable, would be replaced by the new income support scheme, under which blind people would qualify automatically for the disability premium, and that the resulting income support rate will also be the starting point for calculation of housing benefit. The effect this would have on blind people's entitlement to benefit cannot be estimated precisely, because no decisions have yet been taken about either the benefit rates payable from April 1987 under the present system or the benefit rates payable from April 1988 under income support. The proposals do not affect the blind person's allowance available under the income tax system.