§ Mr. MacGregor
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why mortgage interest repayments are taken into account in assessing a claimant's eligibility for supplementary benefits, but are not taken into account in calculating needs in relation to rate rebates.
§ Mr. John Silkin
Supplementary benefit is specifically intended to help meet rent or mortgage interest payments and also rate payments. These must, therefore, be taken into account when assessing how much benefit should be paid. A rate rebate is allowed only in respect of the rate bill. It is not designed to meet mortgage payments.