§ Mrs. Chalker
[pursuant to her reply, 19 February 1981, c. 196]: The numbers of supplementary benefit claimants having part of their benefit deducted at source and paid direct to the fuel industries are given below. The latest available DHSS figures are for November 1979. Since some claimants are paying for both gas and electricity by direct payments, the figures overstate the total number of claimants affected.
Date Electricity* Gas* November 1979 52,450 26,329 November 1978 64,553 31,217 November 1977 67,736 33,019 *Figures include both voluntary savings and payments direct to the fuel industries.