§ Mr. Scott
We are currently spending £8.3 billion on benefits for long-term sick and disabled people. We announced 10 measures in October 1989 to provide extra help for disabled people and their carers, which include the extension of attendance allowance to disabled children under two and mobility allowance to people who are both deaf and blind; the increase over and above the normal annual increase, in the adult disability premium in income support and housing benefit, by £1 for a single person and £1.60 for a couple; and the more than doubling of the disabled child premium in income support and housing benefit from £6.50 to £15.40 per week.
"The Way Ahead: Benefits for Disabled People" (Cm. 917), which I laid before Parliament on 10 January, details our major proposals for improving social security help for disabled people. Our proposals include increasing severe disablement allowance for nearly 250,000 disabled people later this year; a new disability allowance for people of working age and below to improve help with the extra costs of being disabled; and a new disability employment credit to make it easier for disabled people to take up jobs.
§ 43. Mr. Rathbone
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what discussion he has had recently with representatives of voluntary organisations for the disabled about benefit levels under the community charge.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
We have not recently discussed community charge benefit levels with representatives of the voluntary organisations for disabled people.