Magazine article Public Finance

Letters

Magazine article Public Finance

Letters

Article excerpt

Wrong about wheelchairs

Your news story 'Why not charge for wheelchairs, asks Warner' was completely inaccurate (April 7-13). It is totally untrue to suggest that the government has any plans to increase the cost of wheelchairs for users, nor do I have any intention of bringing about means testing for wheelchair provision.

In fact, my aim is to do the exact opposite - I want to reduce the cost of wheelchairs for all users. Currently, people are either given chairs or vouchers to the value of the chair they are assessed as needing. They can then choose to top this amount up out of personal funds.

As the state has far greater buying power than individuals, there could be potential for the state to use that buying power to bring down the cost of wheelchairs for the benefit of the public - an initiative that should, surely, be welcomed.

LORD NORMAN WARNER

Minister for reform

Department of Health

Flexible futures

I was encouraged to read Socitm's report that 26,000 council employees are now working flexibly ('More council staff work from home', April 7-13). Flexible working offers wide-ranging benefits both to councils and their employees. …

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