§ Mr. John
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many and what proportion of local authorities meet his Department's guideline of 200 local authority provided meals for 1, 000 people over the age of 65 years per week; and what would be the extra cost to public expenditure of bringing all authorities up to this level.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
In 1980–81, 18 local authorities with social services responsibilities, in conjunction with voluntary agencies, supplied more than 200 meals a week per 1, 000 people aged 65 and over; they represented 17 per cent. of all such authorities. If all authorities provided meals at that level, the additional cost to them would be of the order of £20 million—assuming the same unit costs as in 1980–81, when they spent £25 million.