Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Severe Weather Payments on 22nd January 1987.
Mr. Meacher Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, on the basis of what precise section of primary or secondary legislation he decided that all persons in the relevant categories would receive a £5 exceptionally severe weather payment in the week 12–18 January.
Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 21 January 1987]: Exceptionally severe weather payments are made under the provisions of Regulation 26A of the Supplementary Benefit (Single Payments) Regulations 1981 (S.I. No. 1528) as amended by the Supplementary Benefit (Single Payments) Amendment Regulations 1986 (S.I. No. 1961).
As I made clear in my statement on Tuesday 13 January, it seemed highly probable at the time that all persons in the eligible groups would qualify for these payments in the week 12-18 January. In a certain number of areas, the qualifying temperature condition was not met. Payments in these areas were accordingly made on ex gratia basis with the consent of the Treasury and within the normal conventions for payments of this sort.