asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his plans for changing the homes insulation scheme to help the elderly.
To help the elderly on low incomes who have not been able to find their share of the cost of loft insulation, we are extending the scheme to enable all eldery people who are either in receipt of a supplementary pension, a rent rebate, a rent allowance or a rate rebate to get a higher grant rate of 90 per cent. with a maximum of £70—instead of the usual 66 per cent. with the £50 limit. This change will come into operation as soon as possible. In addition to the £12·5 million (1980–81 outturn prices) already allocated for the scheme in 1980–81 there will be an extra £4·2 million for England to cover the cost of these new grants. This is part of the package of help for those particularly hit by increasing fuel costs announced today by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services.