Disability Living Allowance

Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 29 September 2008.

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Photo of John MacDougall John MacDougall Labour, Glenrothes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made in his Department's discussions on granting blind people entitlement to the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Anne McGuire Anne McGuire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

holding answer 21 July 2008

We have been in long-term discussions with the Royal National Institute of Blind People and others on whether there is scope to extend the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance to people with severe visual impairments. While we understand the force of the arguments put forward by the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and are sympathetic to their aims, including providing greater financial assistance to allow visually impaired people to return to or remain in work, we cannot, at this time, commit to amending the existing arrangements for the mobility component of disability living allowance.

The Green Paper, "No One Written Off: Reforming Welfare to Reward Responsibility" Cm 7363, published on 21 July, sets out our strategy to help greater numbers of sick and disabled people who want to work, fulfil their aspirations. Part of this strategy is the proposal to increase the Access to Work budget to help greater numbers of disabled people return to, and remain in, work. Currently, around one in four customers of Access to Work are people with a visual impairment.

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