I am today publishing a consultation document on personal independence payment and eligibility for a blue badge. The consultation period closes on Tuesday 2 October 2012.
The coalition Government are taking forward important reforms to the welfare system. One of these reforms will involve changes to disability living allowance and will affect eligibility for a disabled person’s parking permit or blue badge. About a third of all badges are currently issued to people who receive the higher rate of the mobility component of disability living allowance. My Department is therefore consulting on the options we have for dealing with the impact of the changes. The consultation covers arrangements for England only.
I am committed to ensuring that the blue badge scheme continues to be focused on those people who will benefit most from the parking concessions that it offers, and that it is sustainable in the future. The Government have identified three main options for responding to the implementation of personal independence payments. The three main options are:
Option 1—no legislative link between eligibility for a blue badge and eligibility to personal independence payment;
Option 2—establishing a legislative link between blue badge eligibility and the enhanced mobility component of personal independence payment;
Option 3—establishing a legislative link between blue badge eligibility and those who score eight points or more within the “Moving Around” activity within personal independence payment. This assesses a person’s physical ability to get around.
The Government’s preferred option is option 3 as it would mean that eligibility for a blue badge would be most similar to the current scheme and the potential impacts of this option are minimal. We will, however, consider this in light of views and comments sent in as part of the consultation. The Government are also asking for other suggestions for other practical and sustainable solutions.
The consultation concludes on 2 October 2012. Personal independence payments will be introduced for new claimants aged between 16 and 64 from April 2013 onwards. It will begin to replace disability living allowance for existing recipients aged between 16 and 64 from October 2013 onwards. Any consequential changes to the blue badge scheme will also be phased in and will affect existing badge holders when an existing badge expires and they need to apply for a new one.
A copy of the consultation document has been placed in the Library of the House.