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Home Helps

Volume 929: debated on Wednesday 6 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what circumstances the Supplementary Benefits Commission can make regular additional payments to claimants in order to meet home help charges made by a local authority: and if he will make a statement.

The Commission will allow as a reckonable expense in assessing supplementary benefit moderate charges which some local authorities impose for home helps, so as to ensure that, so far as possible, claimants with a need for home help services do not suffer financially. Since, however, such expenses must be offset against the 50p margin—75p for those over 80—for special expenses in the long-term scale rate, pensioners will not necessarily receive an increase in benefit equal to the charge. I understand that the Supplementary Benefits Commission hopes to discuss with the local authority associations their respective rôles in relation to these and other charges for local authority services.