§ Mr. Freeson
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce measures to provide comprehensive insulation and heating services for the elderly.
§ Sir George Young
The elderly on low incomes can already qualify for 90 per cent. grants—up to a maximum of £95—under the homes insulation scheme. Other elderly people can qualify for the standard 66 per cent. rate of grant—up to a maximum of £69. These grants cover loft insulation and the associated lagging of tanks and pipes. I keep the scheme under review in relation to other potential insulation measures, and continue to urge local authorities to give full recognition, in the exercise of their discretionary powers, to the desirability of assisting elderly persons to obtain adequate heating.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services expects 90 per cent. of pensioners on supplementary benefit to qualify for heating additions totalling some £200 million during this financial year. Single supplementary benefit payments are also available for the purchase of materials for simple draught-proofing and hot water cylinder jackets.