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Blue Badge Consultation: Ends on 2nd October 2012


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Dear Friends,

I'm not sure how many people on here use a Blue Badge or have family members who do but I thought I should alert you to some possible changes that my union alerted me of ...

A consultation on the Blue Badge<http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/disabledpeople/motoringandtransport/dg_4001061> parking scheme for disabled people has been launched by the Department of Transport and runs between 9 July and 2 October 2012. The consultation forms part of the Government’s changes to the welfare system and the transition from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment. Transport Minister Norman Baker introduces the consultation:

“The 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 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 seeking your opinions on the options we have for dealing with the impact of the changes.

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. I hope that you are able to let us know what you think of the options presented in this consultation document, before I make a decision on the best course of action.”

In seeking to address how the scheme will operate in the light of the forthcoming implementation of Personal Independence Payments (the replacement to DLA), the Department has identified 3 options, namely:

* 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 8 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. The Government’s view is that with this option, eligibility for a Blue Badge would be most similar to the current scheme and the potential impacts of this option are minimal. The Government will consider this in light of views and comments received as part of the consultation, together with suggestions for other practical and sustainable solutions.

UCU is concerned that the Government’s preferred option 3 measures eligibility of blue badges against gaining points on the new PIP Activities Tests<http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/f60.htm>. This relies on points scoring according to the medical model of disability which fails to capture and give a true representation of the challenges disabled people face. Those who have already qualified for a blue badge and who rely on them for equal mobility may lose them under the new criteria.

You may wish to respond to this consultation. The consultation concludes on 2 October 2012. Any consequential changes to the Blue Badge scheme will be phased in and will affect existing badge holders when an existing badge expires and they need to apply for a new one.

The consultation document can be found HERE<http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-30/>

You can respond to the consultation by emailing bbes@dft.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:bbes@dft.gsi.gov.uk>

Or by writing to

Sally Kendall

Traffic Division

Department for Transport

Zone 3/26

Great Minister House

33 Horseferry Road

London

SW1P 4DR

Sorry for posting such a long message but I couldn't help it!

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