John Redwood supports campaign to help blind people get around

The Rt. Hon John Redwood MP has thrown his weight behind a campaign to help blind and visually impaired people receive a higher classification of disability benefit that would make it easier for them to get around and travel.

At present, blind people are excluded from receiving a benefit called the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance. This is a small sum of money paid to help people who have difficulties getting around on their own and aims to help with extra mobility costs they face as a result of being disabled, such as paying for taxis or private hire vehicles. However, despite facing some of the biggest challenges to travelling independently, blind people are not included in the list of people who are eligible for this benefit.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind has argued that making blind people eligible for this benefit would cost around £30 million, a relatively small sum compared to other areas of Government expenditure. After meeting with and talking to some of his constituents who support this campaign, John Redwood has given it his support. He has signed a parliamentary motion calling on the Government to end the exclusion of blind people from the list of those eligible for this benefit, and has sent a letter to the Minister for Disabled People at the Department of Work and Pensions arguing the case.

Speaking about the campaign, John Redwood said: “The Government is apparently able to find billions and billions to spend on regional assemblies, unwanted Identity Cards, bank bailouts and Whitehall bureaucrats. I therefore do not think it is unreasonable to ask, even in the current economic climate, that they find the small sum of money that would be required so blind and visually impaired people can receive some of the help they need in order to get around, visit their friends and family and go about their daily business”.

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One Comment

  1. mikestallard
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    This was featured yesterday on "In touch" the programme for the blind and partially sighted.
    In West Africa, they have a saying.
    "Don't laugh at the disabled. You may be disabled yourself someday.'
    Fascinating, therefore, that there have been no other comments.
    It would make a lot of difference to people who are some of the most challenged in our community.
    My favourite blind quote, by the way, is in Leviticus. "You will not place a stumbling block in front of a blind man." What those Israelites got up to!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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