Sunday, 30 November 2008



SNP MSP and Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Ageing Sandra White has hit out at the Department for Work and Pensions after evidence emerged that elderly residents of tenement flats are not receiving their full winter fuel payment despite problems with the system being flagged up by the SNP seven years ago.
Glasgow MSP Sandra White commented after the Sunday Post highlighted the case of Greer Harp of Glasgow who only received half his winter fuel payment after the DWP computer failed to recognise tenement flats as separate addresses.
Pensioners currently receive £250 if they are the only pensioner in thehousehold, but only £125 if there is more than one claimant in the property.
The SNP raised concerns over the DWP’s failure to recognise tenement flats as separate addresses in 2001.
Glasgow SNP MSP Sandra White said;
“This is a disgraceful situation that could easily affect many thousands of pensioners.
“The SNP raised this issue with the UK Government in 2001 and we were told it would be sorted out. Unfortunately it seems pensioners are still missing out.
“Lots of vulnerable pensioners won’t even think to question their payments-some are too proud, others just accept what they’re given.
“Fuel poverty is a major issue in Scotland and affects our elderly particularly hard. That’s why the Scottish Government has installed more central heating systems in its first year than in any previous year and is increasing investment in fuel poverty programmes by 20% over the next two years.
“It is ridiculous that pensioners in Scotland are being short changed bythe UK Government because it does not understand that many Scots live in tenements.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that DWP expect these people to correct their department’s mistakes and I will be working with my colleagues at Westminster to ensure action is being taken to finally resolve this situation."

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