Local MP speaks out against a return to rationing

October 9, 2008 11:32 AM
Return to Rationing

Mark is calling for the Government to put an end to pensioner poverty

Cheadle MP, Mark Hunter has today endorsed the Royal British Legion's latest campaign entitled "Return to Rationing".

The campaign - in collaboration with Help the Aged - is tackling the issue of ex-Servicemen and women living in poverty. Today, there are 2.5 million pensioners living on an income that is considered too low to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while 38% of ex-Service pensioners report that their income was below the Minimum Income for Healthy Living (£136 per week for a

single person or £216 for a couple)¹. Their poverty causes many to ration everyday necessities - such as fuel or food - forcing them to experience again hardship similar to that which occurred during and after the Second World War.

Mr Hunter signed a Parliamentary Motion supporting the campaign and calling on the Government to: create an automatic payment system for council tax benefit, make a full disregard of war pension income a statutory requirement, distribute a £50 fuel voucher to those aged over 70 and in receipt of pension credit, and double the personal expense allowance for elderly care home residents. These measures would help ensure that older people have the financial benefits they are entitled too, and support many of our ex-service men and women who are struggling to make ends meet.

Speaking in support of the campaign Mr Hunter said, "I can't believe that after 11 years of Labour Government we have so many pensioners living in poverty. Ex-service men and women especially have given so much for this country and deserve better from us.

"Pensioners should not have to decide between fuel or food, and should not be reliving the hard times of their youth by rationing the necessities of life. Without adequate food or fuel their health will inevitably suffer. The Government has a duty to act now to stop this suffering before the cold weather of the winter sets in. These brave men and women protected our country without complaint in their youth and we should be doing all that we can to protect them now - it's what they deserve."

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