18 March 2009
Christmas comes late for over 6,500 Edinburgh pensioners
Christmas bonus payments for over 6,500 elderly people in Edinburgh to help with winter fuel bills will not be paid until nearly Easter, warned John Barrett, MP for Edinburgh West.
According to research carried out by Liberal Democrats in Parliament, nearly one in ten older people will be getting their Christmas bonus at a time when their grandchildren are getting their Easter eggs. Across Edinburgh this has left 6,500 pensioners still waiting to receive the extra cash
Mr Barrett is leading calls at Westminster to speed up payments and ensure that the problem is corrected so that people can pay their fuel bills immediately.
John Barrett said:
“This late payment of these bonuses is an embarrassment for the Government. The Christmas bonus was designed to help the elderly meet their heating costs at winter.
“At a time of sky high heating and fuel bills, paying the bonus three months late is just not good enough.
“I will be contacting Ministers on behalf of pensioners in my constituency to ensure that payments are made immediately.”
Parliamentary questions by Liberal Democrat MPs revealed that 8.69 percent of bonus payments – nearly one in ten - will not be made until March.
Table: Number of pensioners by parliamentary constituency
Parliamentary Constituency of pensioner for 2005 General Election
Number in Pension Age Client group (individuals)
Edinburgh East 14,350
Edinburgh North and Leith 13,680
Edinburgh South 14,860
Edinburgh South West 14,810
Edinburgh West 19,050
76,750 x 0.0869 = 6669.58
Source: DWP Information Directorate, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, May 2008
Figures are rounded to the nearest ten