Disabled Persons (Motor Car Allowance)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Pensions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1951.

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Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Billericay 12:00 am, 24th July 1951

asked the Minister of Pensions the basis upon which the annual maintenance allowance of £52 10s., paid to disabled persons who have been provided with a motor car by his Department, was calculated.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark

The allowance represents the Government's contribution towards the cost of garaging the car, maintaining it in a roadworthy condition, and towards incidental running expenses. The State pays the insurance and road tax in addition.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Billericay

In view of the fact that the Petrol Duty has been twice increased in the last year or so, is the Minister satisfied that undue hardship is not being caused to pensioners using these cars?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark

The hon. Member's question gives me the opportunity of making this point clear. None of this allowance is allocated towards petrol. It is meant to cover the cost of garaging, repairs, tyres and spare parts—in other words, to keep the car in running order—and not the cost of petrol for running it.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Thompson Mr Kenneth Thompson , Liverpool, Walton

Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the fact that some of the users of these cars have been considerably embarrassed by being asked to pay sometimes a considerable sum to have the runway from the street to their garage altered so that they can get the car in and out? Will the right hon. Gentleman consider this matter?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark

The Minister and the Government cannot undertake the reconstruction of houses, but we help in every way we can. When it is considered that the sum of £52 10s. is given to keep a new car in running order, it is not an unreasonable amount.