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Winter Fuel Payments

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what recent meetings has he held with (a) National Energy Action, (b) Energywatch and (c) others to discuss the extension of eligibility for the winter fuel payment; (97824)

(2) if he will extend the eligibility for winter fuel payments to those groups who are eligible for cold weather payments; and if he will make a statement;

(3) if he will extend the eligibility for winter fuel payments to those groups who are already eligible for cold weather payments; and if he will make a statement.

There have been no recent meetings with National Energy Action or Energywatch. The Department for Work and Pensions holds a wide range of meeting with stakeholders; and these have covered fuel poverty.

Winter fuel payments are made to most people aged 60 or over who are ordinarily resident in Great Britain. Older people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather during the winter months. We have no plans to extend the winter fuel payment to other groups who are eligible for cold weather payments.