§ Q25. Mr. Bidwell
asked the Prime Minister if she is satisfied with the activity of Her Majesty's Government to safeguard the well-being of old people whose lives may be in jeopardy through exposure to cold during the coming winter.
§ The Prime Minister
We are currently spending over £300 million annually on supplementary benefit heating additions. That is more than any previous Government. Over 2 million claimants benefit from this help, and from this week the heating addition rates have been increased to reflect the expected rise in fuel prices to November 1982. Further help is available in the form of loft insulation grants covering 90 per cent. of the cost for elderly people on low incomes. There are also grants available for people entitiled to supplementary benefit for simple draft proofing and hot water cylinder jackets. In addition the Health Education Council recently launched a "Winter Warmth" campaign to draw attention to the part546W which can be played by families, friends and neighbours. This will complement the activities of the statutory and voluntary services.