HC Deb 29 February 2000 vol 345 c237W
Mr. Goggins

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement about the future of the Mobility Equipment Fund and Drivers Fund. [112743]

Mr. Bayley

A review of the Mobility Equipment Fund (MEF) and Drivers Fund was completed last year, and we are grateful to Motability's Tenth Anniversary Trust for their financial support to the Funds while that was ongoing. The purpose of both funds, to provide major adaptations to vehicles to allow severely disabled people to travel as drivers or passengers, is in line with our objective of providing more support for seriously disabled people. We have therefore decided that the pilot status of both funds should be ended, that they should be made substantive, and that they should continue to be administered on our behalf by Motability.

We are aware of the funding problems recently experienced by the funds and have recently agreed revised financing for the Funds with Motability. By restructuring our total support for Motability we shall be making available an additional £1 million for grants in the current financial year, and about £2.7 million extra from 2000–01. This will ease some of the current strain upon the MEF in particular, and start to reduce the waiting list. We recognise that to further reduce the MEF waiting list will require additional funding in the future. Further funding for the MEF will be considered alongside other Government spending priorities in the forthcoming spending review.

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