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MP to discuss changes to pension system

PUBLISHED: 08:57 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:21 07 July 2010

A Norfolk MP is to hold meetings with government ministers to discuss changes to the pension system which he says will penalise the elderly.

Last month South West Norfolk MP Christopher Fraser was handed a petition of more than 1,000 signatures by members of Swaffham and District Pensioners Association calling on the government to double winter fuel payments for pensioners.

A Norfolk MP is to hold meetings with government ministers to discuss changes to the pension system which he says will penalise the elderly.

Last month South West Norfolk MP Christopher Fraser was handed a petition of more than 1,000 signatures by members of Swaffham and District Pensioners Association calling on the government to double winter fuel payments for pensioners.

He has since presented the petition to the government's energy minister Mike O'Brien.

On Thursday, during a ministerial statement to the House of Commons on benefits up-rating, Mr Fraser questioned why the government had reduced the time limit for pensioners to backdate their pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit from 12 to three months.

He said the change is likely to hit older pensioners the most and has now secured meetings with government ministers to discuss the issue further.

He said: “The impact assessment report into this proposed change found that older pensioners are more likely to be affected, as they are more likely to backdate their claim.

“I want to know why the government, at a time when vulnerable groups such as pensioners are already struggling to make ends meet, are imposing changes that will cause undue distress and further poverty amongst the elderly.

“The minister claimed this measure is about simplifying the state pension system but I fail to see how this justifies penalising pensioners even further in light of rising costs and bills.”


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