Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Suffolk: MP Therese Coffey rejects calls for winter fuel payments to be means-tested

17:44 03 January 2013

MP Therese Coffey has rejected calls for winter fuel payments to be means-tested

MP Therese Coffey has rejected calls for winter fuel payments to be means-tested

Archant

KEY figures in Suffolk have rejected calls for winter fuel payments to be means-tested.

shares

Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow proposed targeting the allowance for all but the poorest of pensioners to help pay for a fairer system of state support for old age care.

Mr Burstow said the savings would fund reforms by the Dilnot Commission, which is proposing a £35,000 cap on the amount individuals have to pay towards their social care.

Currently, elderly people in England have to contribute to their own care costs if they have savings of more than £23,000.

But Mr Burstow’s idea has been rejected by both Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and Stephen Singleton, chief executive of The Suffolk Foundation.

Dr Coffey, a Conservative, said her party should stick to its election pledge and maintain the winter fuel allowance as it currently stands. And last night David Cameron backed that view, confirming he was sticking to his guns and keeping the payments.

The Suffolk Foundation, in partnership with the East Anglian Daily Times, has raised more than £50,000 this year by asking people, if they can afford it, to donate their payments. The money from the campaign, called Surviving Winter, is used to help the vulnerable stay warm.

Mr Singleton said: “There’s already a mechanism in place all over the country where people can reallocate their winter fuel allowance and help people.”

He added the cost of setting up the means-testing of winter fuel payments would offset any benefits.

Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, said: “It’s a shame that someone didn’t buy Mr Burstow a calculator for Christmas - because if they had he would have realised that his plan just doesn’t add up.

“Introducing a means-tested system will create a costly and inefficient bureaucracy which evidence shows will result in those who need it most failing to come forward to make a claim.

“Our social care system doesn’t need this kind of tinkering at the edges - but a radical overhaul. Taking money from pensioners who are trying to keep warm this winter on just over £10,500 a year will only create more fuel poverty and ultimately lead to more older people dying from the cold.”

shares

1 comment

  • The fact that £50k in unwanted payments has been donated by people in Suffolk suggests that Mr Burstow's idea has merit - clearly some pensioners feel they do not need the money. It's ironic to read that the Tories want to stick to at least one of their election pledges! Could it be that they don't want to lose the 'senior' votes at the next election; in stark contrast to those out of work and on benefits for whom the Conservatives appear to feel no such responsibility.

    Report this comment

    skrich

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

Drink driver in court

An army driver’s career is hanging in the balance after he was caught driving while nearly three times the alcohol limit.

Dr Fayez Ayache is heartbroken by the escalating problems in his homeland

“Syria should be the most secure place in the middle east, but it’s the most destructive place on earth.”

The area of memory trees in Rushmere St Andrew which could be set for development. Bruce Goudy (member of Sorry) is pictured.

The family of an Ipswich soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2007 are joining a growing campaign against a development which could see a tree planted in his memory lost.

Roadworks at the junction of Handford Road and Portman Road in Ipswich.

Ipswich leaders have voiced their outrage as a major Ipswich road is being dug up for the sixteenth time in ONE year – bringing chaos to parts of the town centre.

Efit issued after runner assaulted on  footpath off Quilter Drive, Ipswich, on August 26

An Efit has been issued of a man police want to speak to after a runner was assaulted.

Olly Rofix, who is taking on an epic tractor journey the length of Britain in his tractor

A cancer survivor, whose charity challenges have included circumnavigating the UK in an 18ft sailing boat, is today setting off on his latest fundraising escapade.

Police burglary investigation - stock photo

A burglar who targeted elderly people living in sheltered housing accomodation in Suffolk and Essex has been jailed for seven years.

Man holds onto a fence outside of a train that was stopped in Bicske, Hungary, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Three Suffolk MPs have added their calls for Britain to join other European countries in offering more Syrian refugees a safe haven.

The Woodbridge Heritage Group are campaigning against the proposed relocation of

Campaigners fighting for a statue to remain in the town where it has stood for 35 years have received backing from a relative of its original benefactor.

The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School. Headteacher, James Clark.

A primary school has been forced not to open today for the first day of term after a blaze broke out in the early hours of this morning.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages