§ Mr. Roy Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has any plans for a non means-tested winter heating premium for pensioners during the winter months.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
No. Such a premium would not he an effective way of using available resources. Income support provides benefit for less well-off pensioners. The rates are intended to cover basic living costs including heating. Extra help is targeted through the premiums which will be enhanced for older and disabled pensioners from October 1989. These provisions are reinforced by the social fund cold weather payments scheme which this winter was extended to include income support recipients aged 60–64 as well as those aged 65 and over.