§ Mr. Livingstone
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what arrangements are made for repayments of mobility equipment fund grants; to what extent recipients are offered a choice of lender and terms; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what plans he has to extend means testing to all levels of grants made under the mobility components of the disability living allowance;
(3) what is his policy on means testing grants from the mobility equipment fund exclusively to meet the costs of major adaptions to vehicles for severely disabled recipients of the mobility component of the disability living allowance; whether the higher rate of the mobility component of the disability living allowance is means tested; and if he will make a statement;
(4) what are the criteria according to which Motability awards grants from the mobility equipment fund; and under what arrangements Motability is accountable to his Department for its distribution of the mobility equipment fund;
(5) what is the total of his Department's current provision including motor tax exemption for (a) the mobility component, high rate and (b) the mobility equipment fund.
§ Mr. Scott
Motability is an independent charity; and it is for it to set the criteria for payments from the mobility equipment fund. Like any other charity which receives funds from Government, it is required to show that such funds are used economically, efficiently and effectively and for the purpose for which they were provided. MEF grants are not repayable.
Any question as to the level of motor tax exemption is one for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The higher rate of the mobility component of the disability living allowance is not means tested.
It is expected that, in 1993–94, £2.184 billion will be spent on disability living allowance. Figures are not available to show the proportion within this figure likely to be spent on the higher rate of the mobility component. The contribution from the Department of Social Security to the MEF for 1993–94 is £2 million.