Four out of five Pensioners in Plymouth will lose up to £300 a year under Tory plans to scrap Winter Fuel Payments.
Plymouth Labour Party’s parliamentary candidates have attacked Conservative plans to introduce means testing to the Winter Fuel Payment policy that will affect 29,000 Plymothians.
The Winter Fuel Payments scheme was introduced by the Labour party in 1997, and by 2010 had helped lift 900,000 pensioners out of poverty. Under changes proposed by the Conservatives, latest figures suggest ten million older people – five out of six pensioners – are set to lose their Winter Fuel Payments, worth up to £300, across the country.
In Plymouth Sutton & Devonport, there are 16,400 pensioners who receive the winter fuel payment and 12,890 are set to lose their winter fuel payments. Eight in ten pensioners (79%) would lose their winter fuel payment under Tory plans.
In Plymouth Moor View, 19,540 pensioners receive winter fuel payments, and 16,110 are set to lose these payments. Eight in ten pensioners (82%) currently in receipt of winter fuel payments would lose their payments under Tory plans.
In response to these figures, Luke Pollard, Labour’s Candidate for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
“In only the last week I’ve met dozens of pensioners worried how they will cope without the Winter Fuel Allowance. The Conservatives are not only cutting school funding in Plymouth, scrapping free school meals for the most vulnerable but also going after our most vulnerable pensioners. With pensioners worried about the Dementia Tax’s impact on their finances taking the winter fuel allowance as well is deeply troubling. The choice at this election is stark: harsh cuts for pensioners with the Conservatives or protection of pensioners with Labour.”
Sue Dann, Labour’s Candidate for Plymouth Moor View said:
“This is a shameless attack by the Tories on the living standards of every pensioner in Plymouth. The Labour Party introduced the Winter Fuel Payment as a way to help pensioners heat their homes. If elected, I would defend the Winter Fuel Payment so that no one has to choose between eating or heating their homes. Under Tory plans four in five pensioners in Plymouth would lose their winter fuel payments. Theresa May’s attack on older people shows that the Conservatives cannot be trusted to protect our pensioners.”
In addition to this, the Tories have also announced they will be dropping their commitment to protect pensions through the ‘Triple Lock’. The Labour Party has confirmed they will keep the Winter Fuel Payment for every pensioner, along with protecting pensioner income with the ‘Triple Lock’ on pensions.