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Published date : 20 June, 2012

The Scottish National Party’s Mr Pete Wishart MP, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire has given his backing to his SNP colleague Mike Weir MP’s Private Members’ Bill that would help off-grid pensioner households beat soaring winter energy costs.

Speaking today (Wednesday) Mr Wishart said:

“Congratulations to Mike on being one of just 20 MPs successful in a ballot to present a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons this session and for picking such an important subject that would make a real difference to pensioners in rural areas.

“The Winter Fuel Allowance Payments (Off-Grid Claimants) Bill) – to give it its full title -  would provide for the early payment of Winter Fuel Allowance to pensioners whose homes are not connected to the mains grid and whose principal source of fuel is home fuel oil, liquid petroleum gas or propane gas.

“Bringing forward payment of Winter Fuel Allowance in this way would allow vulnerable consumers to fill up their tanks prior to the onset of winter and at a time when prices tend to be lower.

"While all households have been hit by rocketing energy prices, off-grid customers, who have no access so social tariffs, are especially vulnerable.

“Every year, I get contacted by constituents concerned about this situation and this Bill would really make their lives easier with little or no extra cost to the Treasury.”

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