§ 23. Mr. Mike Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consideration her Department has given to the provision of benefits in kind, in particular free electricity and gas, to retirement pensioners, the chronic sick and disabled and families and individuals in receipt of supplementary benefit or family income supplement.
§ Mr. O'Malley
The Government's view is that any additional help needed by pensioners and other social security beneficiaries against increases in fuel costs is 111W best met by providing cash rather than benefit in kind. As my hon. Friend knows, a general increase in benefits and pensions is to be made in April.