There is a wide range of financial support available to disabled people who incur extra costs relating to their condition which welfare payments are not designed to meet. These include: Access to Work, disabled students allowances, disabled facilities grants, the disabled person’s bus pass and railcard, and VAT relief on certain items, goods and services.
I should like to thank the Government for instituting the bursary scheme for disabled parliamentary candidates; that is good news. On another matter, Scope, the charity supporting disabled people, has found that disabled people have £108,000 less in savings and assets, yet when they go to hospital—not out of choice, but because they have to—Scope finds that something like 50% of hospitals are still charging disabled people to park their cars. Will my hon. Friend lobby the Department of Health and Social Care to remove those charges and scrap hospital parking charges for all disabled people?
I am pleased to accept my right hon. Friend’s welcome for that good news; it is important that people seeking election should be supported in doing so. I am really pleased to announce today that we have created a new inter-ministerial working group to bring the full force of the Government behind ensuring that every disabled person in our country has the ability to reach their full potential. It is by working across Government that we will tackle issues such as the one that he has just raised.