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Homes (Insulation)

Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people over 65 years have asked the Department of Health and Social Services local officers for assistance to pay for loft insulation; if any grants have been made by social security; and what advice he can give to those on low incomes on how they can get enough money in the short term to enable them to cut their fuel bills.

The Supplementary Benefits Commission is willing to consider making exceptional needs payments to those on supplementary benefit for simple draught-proofing measures but not for major insulation work. So far as tenants are concerned, the Commission regards such work as the responsibility of the landlord; and more generally the Commission, in determining its policy, has taken into account the assistance available from local authorities with the cost of insulating roof spaces and water supplies under the homes insulation scheme. Local authorities have recently received guidance from the Department of the Environment suggesting that receipts for the purchase of insulating materials need not be required before grants are made under the homes insulation scheme; and this will enable local authorities to help those with budgeting problems.