Published: November 15, 2011
MP calls for Prime Minister's backing on winter payments donations

Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt has urged the Prime Minister to back an initiative that encourages people who do not need their cold weather payments to give them to those who are less fortunate.

During Prime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons, she urged David Cameron to support Somerset Community Foundation's 'Surviving Winter Appeal', a campaign that has been rolled out across the UK by other community foundations.

She asked whether the PM would support a change being made to the letters which are sent to people over 60 years old regarding about the government's Winter Fuel Allowance.

She wants to see a 'tick-box' added to the letter to allow recipients to automatically donate their payments to the appeal, helping those suffering the effects of high fuel costs this winter.

Mr Cameron said he would look at the suggestion, but added that he would "not want to see any unnecessary pressure put on people to do something that might not be in their own best interests."

Tessa Munt said afterwards: "Somerset Community Foundation ran a hugely successful campaign last year, helping the vulnerable elderly in this county. I'm very keen to help make this year's campaign an even bigger success."

"I think we need to make it as easy as possible for those who can afford it to donate, so I was glad to have the opportunity to put this idea to the Prime Minister."

"I shall be following up his answer with a request for meetings with his team, as well as writing to the Treasury and the Pensions' Minister – who administer the Allowance - to push this idea further forward."

Last winter, it was reported that more than 420 people died in Somerset from causes related to cold and poor living conditions.

Pictured: Burnham-On-Sea MP Tessa Munt in the House of Commons


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