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Up to 1.7m pensioners will miss out on Cold Weather Payments

January 12, 2010 12:00 PM

Up to 1.7m pensioners nationally will miss out on Cold Weather Payments triggered by the recent weather, according to analysis of Government figures by the Liberal Democrats. Cold Weather Payments of £25 a week are paid to people on low incomes who receive a qualifying benefit, such as Pension Credit, which goes unclaimed by as many as 1.7m pensioners.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said:

"It is a scandal that pensioners on the breadline are missing out on these payments, worth an estimated £42.5m.

"Fuel prices are at an all time high, making Cold Weather Payments all the more important to people already struggling on a poverty pension.

"Labour has failed pensioners by creating a complicated system that makes it difficult for them to get the help they desperately need.

"The Government should be making every effort to identify pensioners who are missing out and get them this extra cash."

Councillor Prue Bray, Liberal Democrat PPC for Wokingham, said "The Liberal Democrats estimate that there are over 1,000 pensioners in Wokingham constituency alone who should be getting this payment but aren't. Heating bills are a huge worry for pensioners on low incomes. The system that is supposed to help some of the most vulnerable in our community is instead letting them down. It is not good enough."