Government leaves pensioners out in the cold

The Winter Fuel Allowance has not been increased to match rising energy bills

The Government’s Winter Fuel Allowance now only covers 36% of the average winter fuel bill, compared with almost two thirds in 2003, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

The Winter Fuel Allowance is an annual payment from the Pensions Service to help people aged 60 and over with the costs of keeping warm in winter.

Jo Swinson said:

“The Winter Fuel Allowance is designed to cover the cost of pensioners’ winter heating bills. However, because rises in energy prices have not been matched by a rise in the Winter Fuel Allowance, many pensioners have been left struggling to pay their heating bills.

“This situation is concerning, given the many older people in East Dunbartonshire who face rising winter fuel bills. With the cold weather now moving in, is essential that the Government takes immediate and effective action to tackle fuel poverty.

“By failing to adjust the Winter Fuel Allowance to reflect rising energy prices, the Government continues to show a complete disregard for the most vulnerable members of society. This is no way to treat our local pensioners.”

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