§ Mr. Chichester-Clark
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in how many cases, in each of the last ten years, supplementary benefit has been given to retirement pensioners and other persons to help them with telephone bills; in how many cases it has been refused; and what proposals he has for increasing help in this regard.
§ Mr. Dean
I regret the figures requested are not available. It is known however that over the last 18 months the 397W number of new cases in which the Supplementary Benefits Commission (in Great Britain) has helped with the installation or rental (or both) of a telephone has been about 140. Not all the people helped were retirement pensioners. The Commission has no proposals for increasing the extent of help with telephones under the supplementary benefits scheme.