Personal Independence Payment and eligibility for a Blue Badge | Consultation starts | 9 July 2012

The Department for Transport has today circulated the following letter:

Dear all

You may like to note that the Government has published today a consultation relating to Personal Independence Payment and eligibility for a Blue Badge. The relevant documents can be found at the link below. An easy read version will be available next week. The consultation closes on Tuesday 2 October.

www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-30/

The Coalition Government is 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. We are therefore consulting on the options for dealing with the impact of the changes. The consultation covers arrangements for England only.

You may also like to note that Simon Kirby MP is taking forward a Private Members Bill called the Disabled Persons Parking Badges Bill. The Government is supporting the Bill and we were pleased when it passed through Second Reading last Friday. You can follow the Bill’s progress here:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/disabledpersonsparkingbadges.html

This Bill isn’t directly related to the consultation as any changes to the eligibility criteria can be made via secondary legislation. The Bill will:

o Provide local authorities with a power to cancel badges that have become lost or stolen or which are no longer in the holder’s possession;
o Extend local authority inspection powers to officers in plain clothes;
o Enable local authorities to recover badges that have been cancelled, have expired, are being misused by a third party or are fake;
o Remove ambiguity from the existing Blue Badge misuse offences so that it is clear that it is an offence to use a badge that should have been returned to the issuing authority;
o Remove the requirement for the Government to publish the full badge specification in regulations;
Extend eligibility for a badge to Armed Forces personnel and their families resident overseas on UK bases who meet the qualifying criteria for a badge; and
o Remove the route of appeal to the Secretary of State in cases where a badge is withdrawn for misuse so that the Local Government Ombudsman will instead review complaints against local authorities.

Regards

Sally

Sally Kendall
Blue Badge Team, Traffic Division
Department for Transport

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