§ 66. Mr. John Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many disabled people in the United Kingdom and Scotland, respectively, have had telephones installed under the scheme operated by the Supplementary Benefits Commission for each year since the start of the scheme.
§ Mr. Dean
The Commission does not operate a scheme as such for the installation of telephones, but is prepared to use its discretionary powers to help people on supplementary benefit with the cost of a telephone in exceptional cases where it would be the only means of communication in an emergency. In the year ending August, 1970, the first year for which figures are available, the Commission provided help with telephone costs in 99 cases in the United Kingdom, four of which were in Scotland. In the year ending August, 1971, the figures were respectively 43 and four, and in the six months ending February, 1972, seven and two.