§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is aware that pensioners who suffer from diabetes receive less by way of diet allowance than others who suffer from the same disease; if he will take steps to equalise such payments; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Orme
This is not so. The longterm scale rates payable to pensioners already include a margin of 50p—75p for those aged over 80—for special expenses. Under the Supplementary Benefits Act 1976, additions for special dietary needs and certain other expenses are offset against this margin, and are paid only to the extent that they exceed it. Pensioners suffering from diabetes do not as a result receive less than other beneficiaries.