'Free' insulation plan for all pensioners is only for over-70s

Gordon Brown's pledge to provide free insulation to all pensioners was unravelling after it emerged the offer was limited to the over-70s and those on benefits.

The offer was the centre-piece of £910m package of energy-saving measures announced this week by the Prime Minister. He said: "All lower income and all pensioner households will be eligible for free loft and cavity wall insulation and other measures."

But a Whitehall spokesman confirmed only the over-70s and some pensioners on benefits would be eligible, with discounts of up to 50 per cent for others.

The discrepancy emerged after pensioners in their 60s rang a helpline to get information about the offer.

Alan Duncan, the shadow Business Secretary, called it: "a scrambled package".

Comments