asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she is aware that the proposed increases in telephone charges, including those for installation and for bedside extensions, will bear harshly upon many elderly or infirm people who live alone; and what provision she proposes to make for mitigating this hardship.
I would refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose) on 21st January.—[Vol. 884, c. 279–80.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will discuss with the local authority associations the criteria used by local authorities for the free provision of telephones under the terms of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, in order to encourage uniformity in the consideration of needy cases.
The responsibility for determining need under Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act rests on individual local authorities. I am, of course, familiar with the recommended uniform criteria for the provision of telephones which were issued by the former local authority associations, and I have no reason to think that local authorities generally are not aware of them. I will keep my hon. Friend's suggestion in mind.