DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds has called on David Cameron to extend his commitment to pensioners from not just the ‘triple lock’ on pensions but to commit to retaining the Winter Fuel Allowance as a universal benefit and with its current eligibility thresholds in the next parliament.
Mr Dodds made the call during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday in the House of Commons.
Speaking afterwards the North Belfast MP said, ‘The Prime Minister has made a very welcome commitment to pensioners through stating that he will protect state pensions by keeping the “triple-lock” guarantee.
“That will give some reassurance to older people who have seen any savings they have hit through low interest rates whilst the cost of living has risen sharply.
“However, Mr Cameron could go further and make a clear commitment that the Winter Fuel Allowance will be retained as a universal benefit with the current eligibility criteria.
“This payment is vital for many older people as they attempt to stay warm.
“Such payments for many pensioners are actually a matter of life and death and there are many older people who live in dread of any particularly cold period of weather.
“I would hope that the Prime Minister might come forward in the near future and give such an assurance to older people right across the United Kingdom.’’