Don Foster MP*
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Disabled People Frozen Out of Winter Fuel Payments - Foster

Bath MP, Don Foster is piling pressure on the Government to extend winter fuel payments to disabled people.

Main ImageAnyone over the age of sixty can claim a winter fuel allowance of £200 a year. However, one million people with disabilities are under the age of sixty and are not eligible for this payment.
Liberal Democrat policy is to extend winter fuel payments to people with disabilities. For some time now, this policy has had the support of many disabilities charities.
But in a letter to Disability Now Magazine, the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Eagle MP, repeated the Government’s refusal to change their policy and assist disabled people with their fuel costs.
Ms. Eagle wrote that disabled people should pay their heating bills out of the Care or Mobility component of their Disability Living Allowance.
Don Foster said: “This situation is completely unacceptable. Disability benefits target specific needs. The weekly mobility allowance of £14.65 that many receive can’t possibly stretch to cover heating costs too.
“Those who are immobilised due to disability often feel the cold more than others. Through no fault of their own, the vast majority aren’t in work. If they were working, their employer would effectively pay their daytime heating bills.
“The therapy required by a number of disabling ailments (such as dermatological conditions or night sweats) produces an added need for hot water. This also increases a disabled person’s heating bill.
“This is a question of dignity, and the basic comfort of one million potential beneficiaries. The cost of extending the payment is only £195 million.
“Disabled people are in danger of becoming socially excluded as their benefits rights are further eroded. But they are just as entitled to a fuel payment as the elderly. A penny-pinching Government is refusing to acknowledge this fact.”

Notes to Editors follow…

Notes to Editors:


Those with disabilities are defined as a) those eligible for higher rate mobility, which includes those who:
1] cannot walk, or
2] are virtually unable to walk
3] have amputations at or above the ankle, or were born without legs
4] are deaf/blind and need help out and about
5] have mental or behavioural problems and are in receipt of the higher rate care component as a result.
b) higher rate care component need help day and night
c) middle rate care component need help day or night
[Information supplied by the DSS]


ENDS.

This article published: 18/09/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank

 

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