HC Deb 26 February 2003 vol 400 c598W
Mr. Laws

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his assessment is of the reasons underlying the growth in spending on disability benefits between 1997-98 and 2003-04 (planned); and if he will make a statement. [97353]

Maria Eagle

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave to him on 12 February 2003,Official Report, column 801W in the case of disability living allowance. Similar reasons apply also in the case of attendance allowance, which provides a contribution towards the extra costs faced by people who become severely disabled after the age of 65. Spending on both these benefits has increased steadily year on year because more people than ever are receiving them and because their value has been maintained by increasing the rates at which they are paid each year in line with the movement in prices as measured by the retail prices index.