asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is aware that the continuing rise in prices is eroding the value of the social security benefits; and whether he will instruct his local offices to increase their heating allowances and clothing grants during the winter months.
Supplementary benefit rates were increased last month to protect the standards of the most vulnerable sections of the community. The changes included an increase in the long-term addition, now 10s. a week, which provides margin for additional requirements. Where a person needs further help, for example because of special heating or clothing needs, extra provision can be made—related in general to the actual cost incurred.