§ Mr. Gerrard
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many parents of disabled children in England applied for the disabled facilities grant in 2003; and how many of them had their application means-tested; 
(2) how many parents of disabled children in England who had their application for the disabled facilities grant means-tested in 2003 withdrew from the application process; 
(3) how many parents of disabled children received the full amount applied for in the disabled facilities grant in England in 2003; 
(4) what the total amount paid in disabled facilities grant in England was in 2003; and how much of this was paid to those whose applications had been means-tested; 
(5) what plans he has to abolish the means testing of the disabled facilities grant for the parents of disabled children in England. 
§ Keith Hill
The total amount of disabled facilities grant (DFG) awarded by local authorities in England in 2002–03 was £173.8 million. All applicants for DFG are subject to a means test.
Information is not held centrally on the number and value of DFGs awarded to parents of disabled children in England and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The latest information available on the type of DFGs awarded and the characteristics of DFG recipients is from the 1996 report into the 451W Evaluation of the DFG system published by the Department of the Environment. This showed that 5 per cent. of all successful DFG applicants were parents with a disabled child. The report also showed that 35 per cent. of those who initially enquired about a grant withdrew from the process either because they were ineligible for a grant, the council offered them some other form of assistance or because they would not qualify for a grant because of the means test. Of those who withdrew 8 per cent. were parents with a disabled child.
Since 1996 the DFG means test has been amended and a special housing allowance for a family with a disabled child was introduced in 2000. This extra allowance is offset against that family's income.
The Government announced a review the operation of the DFG programme on 5 January 2004. In answer to a parliamentary question from Baroness Wilkins, my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Rooker in the other place said that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, jointly with the Department of Health will be reviewing the disabled facilities grant programme, including the operation of the means test, in the context of the Spending Review 2004. The conclusions of this review will be announced later in the year.