HC Deb 30 November 1953 vol 521 cc744-5
10. Miss Bacon

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will arrange for retirement pensioners to pay only for the gas and electricity which they use which, in most cases, is lower than the minimum amount for which charge is made.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

This position arises only in the case of one gas board, which informs me that it has made special arrangements for dealing with any cases of hardship.

Miss Bacon

Is that the North-East Gas Board?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir.

Miss Bacon

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that pensioners seem to be unaware that their special cases can be considered? Will he give publicity to this fact?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir. I hope that this Question and answer will have the effect that the hon. Lady desires.

Mr. Snow

On the subject of old age pensioners, is the Minister aware that I have been told of a case in which inspectors from one board visited a house and, as a result, declared that certain equipment was out of date and put in new equipment which cost £4, which is quite beyond the means of the pensioners to pay? Would not the whole question of charges to old age pensioners be an effective one for him to consider?

Mr. Lloyd

I should like to look further into the point which the hon. Member has raised.

Miss Ward

As it appears to be possible to make some arrangements with old age pensioners in relation to gas, will my right hon. Friend consider the question of old age pensioners paying more for coal because they buy it by the sack? If it is possible to make special arrangements for one kind of heating product, why is it not possible to make similar arrangements for another?

Mr. Lloyd

That question is on a rather different basis, but I will consider it.