HC Deb 06 July 1973 vol 859 cc229-30W
Mr. William Shelton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether he will advise local authorities to increase the present allowance of £l.35p allowed back to retirement pensioners resident in council-controlled establishments, after deductions for food, rent &c.;

(2) whether he is aware that, in council-controlled establishments for retirement pensioners, it still remains the custom for cigarettes, tobacco or sweets to be handed out to all residents each week, and that these retirement pensioners are offered no other choice; and whether he will issue a circular to local authorities advising them to stop this practice, and instead increase the pensioners' cash allowance.

Sir K. Joseph

I propose to increase the sum prescribed for the personal requirements of residents in accommodation provided under Part III of the National Assistance Act who cannot afford the full charge when the retirement pension is increased following the enactment of the National Insurance and Supplementary Benefit Bill now before Parliament.

The provision of amenities and comforts including tobacco, cigarettes and sweets is a matter for the discretion of local authorities.