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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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SNP CALL FOR COLD WEATHER AND WINTER FUEL PAYMENT INCREASE

Saturday, 9 January 2010

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has backed demands by leading charities today (Saturday) for the UK Government to increase cold weather fuel payments to pensioners and vulnerable households. Dr Whiteford also revealed that the SNP is set to raise the issue in the UK Parliament next week.

Age Concern and Help the Aged have warned that existing UK Government support will not be enough to prevent a soaring death rate among older people.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This has not just been a cold snap, but a sustained period of freezing weather which seems set to continue and the UK Government must take immediate action to help vulnerable households.

“Cold weather and winter fuel payments have not kept pace with the soaring increases in domestic energy bills over recent years and UK Ministers must take action to help vulnerable households – many of which were already in fuel poverty.

“Clearly a combination of the extreme weather, increasing bills and the real difficulties people face because of the recession make the situation much worse than in previous years.

“Not only is the UK Government failing to deal with fuel poverty, but some policies, such as the levy on domestic heating oil or liquid petroleum gas users in rural areas will make matters worse – these energy customers do not have access to the social tariffs available to gas customers, for example.

“It is incredible that a country with Scotland's energy resources should be put in such a position by the incompetence of the London Administration. Westminster needs a wake up call on fuel poverty and the SNP will be leading demands in parliament next week for an increase in help for vulnerable households.”

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