The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. Blue Badge holders are able to park closer to their destination, either as the driver or passenger, in disabled parking bays, usually for free on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines, and on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours in certain circumstances. The eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge has been extended beyond those with a physical disability to now include those who: • cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person; • cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress; • have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking); and • scored 10 points under the 'planning and following journeys' activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by virtue of being unable to undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to them. This will lead to automatic entitlement in much the same way as scoring 8 points under the ‘moving around’ activity of PIP which is already in place. The regulations also amend the current requirement that the disability be 'permanent and substantial', changing it to 'enduring and substantial'. Those who do not meet the automatic eligibility criteria linked to PIP awards, can still apply and go through the standard assessment process. Under the new regulations, ‘expert assessors’ with specialist experience of non-physical impairments, can be appointed by the local authority to undertake the assessment to determine eligibility.
State pension age increase accelerated by seven yearsSep 8th, 2017
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke, has on 19th July 2017 announced that the increase in the pension age to 69 will now take place seven years earlier than planned.
The announcement, made in the Commons, affects approximately six million people between the ages of 39 and 47.
Originally scheduled to take place in 2044, the increase will now instead be phased in between 2037 and 2039.
This move will hardly come as a surprise to many, and may just be an indication of the ‘thin end of the wedge’ being driven home by a government with a clear intent of further austerity.