Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas cracker for Crewe and Nantwich

David Williams, Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has welcomed a new cash boost for 24,250 people living in Crewe and Nantwich as part of the Labour Government's financial help.

Following the coldest start to winter in thirty years, the Government this week formally ordered a special one-off payment of £60 to pensioners, carers, disabled people and those in receipt of bereavement benefits.

David Williams said, "I'm pleased that the Government has helped the most vulnerable and its right that they've invested this extra cash. The Christmas bonus will be a real winter warmer for all who get it."

This help is in addition to the extra £4bn which will be spent on pensioners next year, announced by the Chancellor in the pre-budget report. This means the biggest increase in the State Pension since 2001, bringing it from £90 to £95 a week, and the biggest increase in Pension Credit since it was introduced, so that no pensioner need live on less than £130 a week from April 2009.

David Williams added, "The Tories say we should do nothing to help people in Crewe and Nantwich. Thankfully the Government has ignored the Tories and is putting an extra £60 in every pensioners’ pockets, alongside their increased Winter Fuel Payments.

“This is real help going to 19,460 pensioners and 450 kids and 4,240 working age people, all living in Crewe and Nantwich.

“I hope that this cash, alongside extra Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, means that no one need worry about turning up the heat this winter, thanks to a Labour Government.”

The Christmas Bonus will be paid in two instalments - recipients will get £10 in December, as in previous years, with the additional £60 to be paid between January and March in the New Year.

The majority of State Pensioners should receive the £60 payment in January 2009 in addition to their pension. The remaining three million people will get their £60 in February or March 2009.

The Labour government is spending £575m on increased Winter Fuel Payments this year, with someone aged between 60 and 79 will receiving £250, and £400 for households with someone 80 and over. The Tories never made Winter Fuel Payments.

Labour has made it easier and quicker for those eligible for Pensions Credit to get the help they are entitled to, without the need to fill in any forms. They can also be assessed for Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit at the same time.

Cold Weather Payments have also been increased from £8.50 to £25 per week for winter 2008/09. They are paid out when the average temperature where the recipient lives is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days during the period from 1 November to 31 March.

Please click here for more information on cold weather payements.

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