The Member of Parliament for Angus has welcomed an election pledge from the SNP to introduce an earlier winter fuel payment for pensioners living off-grid.
Mike Weir MP warmly welcomed the pledge from Nicola Sturgeon that should the SNP government be re-elected in May they will introduce an earlier payment of the Winter Fuel Allowance to pensioners who are off the gas grid.
Mr Weir has pursued a long campaign on this issue repeatedly raising it in Parliament during debates on Energy Bills and also introducing a Private Members Bill in the last Parliament to try and bring it about.
Commenting Mr Weir said: “This is a low cost common sense measure that I have championed for many years as a way to ensure that pensioners off the gas grid get maximum benefit from the winter fuel allowance.
“I have repeatedly raised the issue at Westminster and all other parties, whilst in opposition, have agreed it’s a good idea but someone found themselves unwilling to introduce it when in power. With the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament the SNP are prepared to introduce the measure giving a real boost to many pensioners in our rural areas.
“Early payment of the winter fuel allowance will allow pensioners the opportunity to fill up their tanks earlier in the year when the fuel is normally lower in price. The cost to government will be low but the potential benefits for off grid pensioners could be huge.”