§ Mrs. Angela Knight
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the consequences for his Department of the recent House of Lords judgment in the case of Rosaleen Foster; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lilley
The judgment given in the House of Lords on 28 January in this case confirmed that the regulations under which the severe disability premium had been awarded in income support housing benefit and community charge benefit were validly made.
The Government have always intended that the severe disability premium should provide extra help to those particularly vulnerable severely disabled people who live independently of their families, and do not have anyone caring for them who receives invalid care allowance. The decision has put beyond doubt that the law enables Secretary of State to make such conditions. I am pleased that this matter has now been finally resolved, and I continue to believe that the SDP is an effective way of helping those severely disabled people who live independently and who are, therefore, most likely to have to rely on bought-in care.