VIDEO: Winter fuel benefit test given the cold shoulder in East Lancashire

FUEL Winter benefit test given the cold shoulder in East Lancashire

FUEL Winter benefit test given the cold shoulder in East Lancashire

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

THE idea of means testing pensioners’ winter fuel payments to pay for care of the elderly has got a cool reception in East Lancashire.

Former minister Paul Burstow yesterday said targeting the allowance would help pay for a fairer social care system.

He said limiting the payment of between £200 and £300 to recipients of pension credit could fund most of the £1.7bn cost of implementing reforms of elderly care in England.

Liberal Democrat Mr Burstow explained: “Social care isn’t free, but it could be a lot fairer for those who have worked hard all their lives. By concentrating the winter fuel payment on those eligible for pension credit, we can pay for a cap on care costs.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has already ruled out scrapping the winter fuel payment.

Burnley LibDem MP Gordon Birtwistle, Blackburn with Darwen’s Labour council leader Kate Hollern and leading Hyndburn politicans all rejected the idea.

BELOW: Video - East Lancashire pensioners have their say on means testing for winter fuel allowance benefit

Burnley LibDem MP Gordon Birtwistle, Blackburn with Darwen’s Labour council leader Kate Hollern and leading Hyndburn politicans all rejected the idea.

Seventy-year-old Mr Birtwistle said: “I don’t think Paul is right about means testing winter fuel payments. I think the wealthy should be taxed on them and the money received ring-fenced for long-term care.”

Coun Hollern said: “Older people have paid national insurance all their lives for these benefits and they should not be taken away. Means testing is expensive, complex and often gets the wrong people.”

Hyndburn Tory group leader Peter Britcliffe, aged 62, said: “I think there is a case for scrapping the payment for those pensioners who live abroad in hot climates but not in the UK. When I get my payment, I think I can turn the heating up and that applies to a lot of pensioners. Keeping older people warm saves the NHS money.”

The borough’s Labour MP Graham Jones said: “It should not come down to either or. The problem is that the economy and tax receipts are not growing to pay for these vital things.”

Comments (6)

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1:15pm Fri 4 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society.

And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it.

When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them.
Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society. And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it. When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Fri 4 Jan 13

shytalk says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society.

And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it.

When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them.
Good idea 5 for 2 p Then the tory care home providers could make a nice fat profit, and introduce special showers for when the money runs out. Pensioners houses could also be used to accomodate foreign agency workers at exhorbitant rates...I'll vote for you 2 for 5 p
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society. And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it. When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them.[/p][/quote]Good idea 5 for 2 p Then the tory care home providers could make a nice fat profit, and introduce special showers for when the money runs out. Pensioners houses could also be used to accomodate foreign agency workers at exhorbitant rates...I'll vote for you 2 for 5 p shytalk
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Fri 4 Jan 13

TONY WALES says...

Don't worry about this clown. The Lib Dem's are now the laughing stockof the U/K.
Every time one opens his mouth, he loses the party thousands of votes. They seem to have a hugh amount of stupid, ideas to lose votes, that by the next election I thnk they will be beaten into 4th place by UKIP.
Remember OAP's are people, who over the years have had a vote, and they will actually vote at a General Election. They will remember, how governments treat them, and vote them out of office.
Also with the next election, are you voting for the Conservative party,or he Lib Dem's? Since they are now big friends together, and coalition governments have never worked, since they are afraid of upsetting the other partner, you now have the position in this country, where you have MP's who are completely out of touch with the feelings of the population.
One is the membership of the EU, the other is immigration.
This Winter fuel allowance, is another example.
Don't worry about this clown. The Lib Dem's are now the laughing stockof the U/K. Every time one opens his mouth, he loses the party thousands of votes. They seem to have a hugh amount of stupid, ideas to lose votes, that by the next election I thnk they will be beaten into 4th place by UKIP. Remember OAP's are people, who over the years have had a vote, and they will actually vote at a General Election. They will remember, how governments treat them, and vote them out of office. Also with the next election, are you voting for the Conservative party,or he Lib Dem's? Since they are now big friends together, and coalition governments have never worked, since they are afraid of upsetting the other partner, you now have the position in this country, where you have MP's who are completely out of touch with the feelings of the population. One is the membership of the EU, the other is immigration. This Winter fuel allowance, is another example. TONY WALES
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Fri 4 Jan 13

ste.g says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society.

And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it.

When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them.
obviously not an home owner
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society. And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it. When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them.[/p][/quote]obviously not an home owner ste.g
  • Score: 0

12:16am Sat 5 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

ste.g wrote:
2 for 5p wrote:
Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society.

And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it.

When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them.
obviously not an home owner
Why do you come to that conclusion.

Tell me when a person reaches that time of life what is the point of owning a house. It may as well be sold to help pay for the care.
[quote][p][bold]ste.g[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Means testing just rewards the irresponsible of society. And as far as social care is concerned there is a perfectly good system in place at the moment to pay for it. When a person needs social care there is nothing wrong with them selling there house at that point of life the house is no use to them.[/p][/quote]obviously not an home owner[/p][/quote]Why do you come to that conclusion. Tell me when a person reaches that time of life what is the point of owning a house. It may as well be sold to help pay for the care. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Good call says...

I ask you all, does it matter which party is alleged to be in charge of the country.
I ask you all, does it matter which party is alleged to be in charge of the country. Good call
  • Score: 0

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