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Smokeless Fuels (Low Income Groups)

Volume 959: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what help is proposed to relieve the hardship of pensioners and others on low incomes caused by the need to change to the use of smokeless fuels.

I understand that local authorities provide grants to meet the major part of expenditure on adaptations. I also understand that the Supplementary Benefits Commission may help its beneficiaries to meet extra fuel costs which result from unfamiliarity with appliances during the early days. Additionally, under the electricity discount scheme, all in receipt of supplementary benefit or family income supplement will receive a flat rate payment of £5 this winter through the Department of Energy which can be used towards the cost of any fuel bill, together with a discount of 25 per cent, of the amount by which one winter quarter's electricity bill exceeds £20. The discount will also be available to recipients of rent and rate rebates and rent allowances.