This petition urges the Prime Minister to extend the existing threshold for qualification and award the Cold Weather Payment to pensioners currently excluded; marginalised pensioners who paid statutory dues all of their working life: income tax, council tax, NIC, SERPS, etc.
National Energy Action, the country's foremost fuel poverty charity, is calling on Government for an extra £4 billion in funding for energy efficiency programmes to end the scandal of excess winter deaths. NEA claims that £4 billion was amount needed between now and 2010 if the Government is to meet its own target of ending fuel poverty for older and other vulnerable people by 2010.
Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive of NEA, said: "We are now just over half way through this cold snap. Prepayment meter customers will be running out of credit and everyone?s fuel budgets are under strain. People risk having to choose between running into debt, or turning off their heating and putting their health in danger. Increasing the Cold Weather Payment was a welcome step by Government for qualifying households, but is not enough."
Jim Green, the petitioner said: ?Restricting qualification for the cold weather payment is an insult to responsible pensioners who paid statutory dues throughout the working life, made voluntary provision for retirement, and subsequently find themselves marginalised by the state system to which they contributed. Do we not freeze in excessively cold weather as much as those on benefits who qualify for additional assistance??
This petition urges the Prime Minister to make provision in the next budget for the availability of the cold weather payment to all pensioners.