asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what increase would be necessary in the petrol allow- ance payable to the drivers of invalid vehicles issued by his Department to restore its value in real terms to that of the date when the present amount of the allowance was announced.
Pump prices vary, but an increase of the order of £7 would be indictated. As the right hon. Gentleman is aware, the amount of the allowance has never been linked directly either to the cost of petrol itself or to the levels of excise duty and value added tax. It has represented the highest possible rate having regard to available resources and other claims on them. I cannot hold out any early prospect of increasing it.