The Blue Badge consultation document includes proposals for:
- Introducing an improved IT system to administer the Blue Badge scheme
- A newly designed secure blue badge
- Changing the Blue Badge fee
- Giving local authorities additional powers to reduce fraud and tackle misuse
The Blue Badge Improvement Service (BBIS) is a new IT system that will improve administration of the scheme and reduce fraud and misuse by allowing information on Blue Badge holders to be shared by local authorities across the UK. The system will also include the supply of a newly designed blue badge with security features which will be harder to forge and duplicate.
In order to cover the additional costs of introducing a new badge that will be harder to misuse the consultation paper sets out 3 options for increasing the current Blue Badge fee of £2 to either £5.50, £7.50 or £10.
Mr Sargeant said,
“It’s vital that disabled people can access important services which is why we embarked on a wide-ranging look at the Blue Badge scheme to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and meets the future needs of the people of Wales.
“This consultation will be another move toward ensuring the scheme is modernised in order to reduce current problems and deal with future challenges to improve the quality of life and access for disabled people across Wales.”
The consultation document will also seek views on a range of options for determining applicants’ eligibility for a Blue Badge and proposals to give local authorities additional powers to cancel and confiscate a Blue Badge.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and responses will help inform the next phase of the Blue Badge Action Plan.
This consultation to further improve the scheme follows changes to the regulations that came into effect earlier this month. These changes saw eligibility of the Blue Badge being extended to parents of children under three years old with specific medical conditions, people with disabilities in both arms and severely injured armed forces personnel and veterans.