§ Mr. David Porter
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to make changes to the improvement grant system to spread the available cash to more applicants and to take account by disregard in calculating income of mortgage payments and all disability benefits; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Baldry
The changes to the house renovation grant system announced on 16 July—Official Report, column 1047—are designed to enable help to be given to more low income grant applicants by, among other things, making higher allowance in the means test for the general costs, including housing costs, they face. It would complicate an already necessarily complex system to make specific allowance for mortgage costs in the means test. The test already disregards disability benefits on the same basis as housing benefit.