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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD CONCERNED BY RISK TO PENSIONER BENEFITS

Thursday, 21 August 2008

The SNP's Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has expressed deep concern at the coming move by the London Government to prevent hard up pensioners from claiming the benefits to which they are entitled after a three month window.

Currently benefits can be backdated to up to a year, ensuring that pensioners do not lose out on claiming their money. However, in an effort to save money, the Treasury has ruled that from October 6th claims for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Pension Credit will only be backdated by three months.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"Rising fuel prices and food costs are already hitting every household, but pensioners are amongst those struggling the most to cope with them. As such, I simply do not understand why the Treasury has targeted such a vulnerable section of society in order to save itself some money.

"Westminster should be doing more to encourage the take up of benefits to which pensioners are entitled, not preventing them from claiming the money they are entitled to."

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson added:

"Pensioners in Banff & Buchan and across Scotland could lose hundreds of pounds because of this move, so I strongly encourage people who are entitled to these benefits to submit their claim before the 6th of October in order to receive the full twelve months of backdated benefits that they are due."

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