Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 19°C

ESTD 1874 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

Morgan and Harry Hutchins stay cool during the day, but how you cool down at night?

Temperatures across the county soared to 33 degrees Celsius today, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

A forest fire near Kingfisher Lake

Crews were called just before 2pm to the fire near Kingfisher Lake, just off the B1107.

David Sims, 69, a firearms enquiry officer, is due to in court to answer three counts of possessing a firearm of length less than 30cm  prohibited weapon, possessing ammunition without a certificate and possession of a firearm without a certificate.

The man, who has dementia, was with a friend when he wandered off at around 2pm.

Archant Suffolk photographer Sarah Lucy Brown shares an image of sunny Aldeburgh on her Instagram account

This week temperatures could rise to a sweltering 33C in East Anglia.

Stansted Airport

A report into the future of Britain’s airports does not rule out a second runway at Stansted – and raises fears of extra night flights to the Essex airport.

Artist's impression of 'Jubilee Place' and Jubilee Walk, one of the new quarters put forward in the Haverhill town centre masterplan.

Members of the public will be able to find out more about plans to revitalise Haverhill town centre when a bus parks up for three days from tomorrow.

Dermot O'Leary

Colchester boy Dermot O’Leary has been announced as the new ceremonial head of a north Essex hospice.

The Quay Theatre in Sudbury.

Only half of those responding to an online survey about Sudbury have visited historic market town’s key tourist attraction, figures have revealed.

Elderly woman taken to hospital with life threatening injuries

The 82-year-old died from her injuries following a collision with a Ford Fusion this afternoon.

Morgan and Harry Hutchins stay cool during the day, but how you cool down at night?

There is only so much relief the cold side of the pillow can bring, so here are our ten tips for sleeping in a heatwave.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages