§ Mr. Cadbury
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to extend the scope of the option mortgage scheme to elderly non-taxpayers who wish to take out an annuity with a loan secured on their home.
§ Mr. Stanley
We have been giving careful consideration to the arguments put forward on this matter during the proceedings in another place on the Social Security Bill and on the Housing Bill. The Government have agreed that the option mortgage scheme should be extended in this way to provide additional income to elderly low-income owner-occupiers to help them remain longer in their own homes. The cost will be met within existing public expenditure allocations. A new clause to give effect to the intentions of an amendment agreed in another place will be tabled when the Housing Bill returns to this House.