§ Mr. Loveridge
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many payments have been made to date this year by the Supplementary Benefits Commission to enable old persons living in isolation to have telephones installed at reduced rates.
§ Mr. Dean
In the six months ended February 1973—the latest period for which figures are available—the commission helped with installation charges in three cases.
Local authorities in England and Wales have powers under Section 45 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 and Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 to meet the cost of installation and rental in appropriate cases. Local authorities in Scotland have similar powers under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (Scotland) Act 1972. Information on help with telephone costs under these powers will be available later in the year.