§ Mr. Barnes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many claimants had a telephone installed and their telephone bill paid for them by the Supplementary Benefits Commission during each of the last three years.
§ Mr. Dean
The commission does not pay telephone bills as such but in exceptional cases, where a telephone would be the sole means of communication in an emergency, include the cost of telephone rental in assessing the requirements of the person concerned. Help of this kind and/or with the cost of installation was given in 99, 43 and 18 cases respectively in the years ending August 1970, 1971 and 1972. The figures reflect the use by local authorities of their powers under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.