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Home Help Service

Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 2 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a table to show the nature and extent of any payments made by the Supplementary Benefits Commission towards the cost of local authority-imposed charges for a home help service for the last two years; and if he will make a statement.

Following is the information requested:Cases with a reckonable expense for a local authority home help for which an exceptional circumstances addition was in payment

Nov. 197718,000
Nov. 1978*18,000
Amount of average reckonable expense
Nov. 197770p
Nov. 197867p
* Information for November 1979 is not expected to be available for some months yet.
† Any long-term beneficiary would be liable to have 50p (or 75p if over 80) offset against the ECA since this is the amount in the long-term scale rate which is available for such special expenses—that is, the figures shown are before this offset is taken into account.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate he has made of the effects of the requirement for those living at the supplementary benefit level to meet any charge for home help service; and if he is satisfied that no hardship will result, in the light of the fact that the basic supplementary benefit scale takes no account of the extra expenses caused by handicap.

I refer the right hon. Gentleman to my hon. Friend's reply to the right hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) on 11 February.—[Vol 978, c. 486.] No hardship should result if local authorities exercise their power to remit charges to people living at or below supplementary benefit level.