East End MP calls for increase in cold weather and winter fuel allowance payments

11 Jan 2010

The SNP Member of Parliament for Glasgow East, John Mason, has backed demands by leading charities for the UK Government to increase cold weather fuel payments to pensioners and vulnerable households. John Mason has also revealed that the SNP is set to raise the issue in the UK Parliament this 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, John Mason 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 are making matters worse.

“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 this week for an increase in help for vulnerable households.”