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Pensoners (Fuel Costs)

Volume 14: debated on Thursday 3 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will consider introducing legislation with the objective of reducing the cost of gas and electricity to retirement pensioners by abolishing the standing charges on their fuel bills and by other measures.

No. Standing charges reflect the fixed costs in supplying the consumer. The Government are now spending £250 million a year in assistance to low-income householders in meeting fuel costs, and of the 2¼ million beneficiaries 1½ million are pensioners.Heating additions available under the supplementary benefits scheme have recently been increased and are awarded automatically to house-holders on supplementary benefit who are either aged 70 or over or with a dependent over 70.