§ 15. Mr. Skinner
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people are receiving the higher rate of attendance allowance at the latest available date; and what was the comparable figure for 1979.
§ 33. Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has any plans to improve the attendance allowance system.
§ Mr. Scott
We are constantly seeking to improve the working of the attendance allowance system. We have38W substantially reduced the average time taken to decide new attendance allowance claims from 12.5 weeks in 1983 to 7.5 weeks currently. This year we are spending almost £1,200 million on attendance allowance, an increase of 230 per cent. in real terms since 1978–79. The reports of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys disability surveys will help us judge how well the substantial current expenditure is targeted and whether there are better ways of helping those in greatest need.