§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to arrange for retirement pensioners who are ineligible for supplementary allowances, only for the fact that their capital falls just outside the £2, 000 stipulated in the regulations, to receive a fuel allowance to cover the excess of heating utilised in any year when the fuel consumed is above that of a normal winter.
§ Mrs. Chalker
No. Bringing people whose capital is marginally above £2, 000 within the scope of the supplementary benefit scheme would not of itself mean that they would receive help with their fuel bills or other items covered by the single payments regulations. Under regulation 5 it is assumed that claimants for single payments who have capital above £300 will use the excess towards the cost of the item claimed. Claimants with more than £2, 000 capital would therefore be excluded from help in all but the most exceptional circumstances, such as, for example, where their bill exceeded £1, 700.