Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Elizabeth, 77, Vows to Cope [...]; Anger as Coalition Slashes Pensioners' Cold to Be Honest, I'm Grateful for the " Pounds 200. I Think We Should All Be Doing Our Bit for Our Country at the Moment"

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Elizabeth, 77, Vows to Cope [...]; Anger as Coalition Slashes Pensioners' Cold to Be Honest, I'm Grateful for the " Pounds 200. I Think We Should All Be Doing Our Bit for Our Country at the Moment"

Article excerpt

Byline: SARA NICHOL

RESILIENT Geordie pensioners claim they will feel the pinch, but will battle to cope with the winter fuel cuts.

Elizabeth Tait is one of the 300,000 elderly people in the region who will have their bonus cold weather payments slashed.

The 77-year-old will see her Winter Fuel Allowance cut from pounds 250 to pounds 200.

But she's vowed to adjust her living to accommodate the cuts and said she is grateful for the money she does get.

Mrs Tait, of Locksley Close in New York, North Tyneside, said: "I did get pounds 250 and that's going to go down to pounds 200.

"I don't have very much in life, I've worked hard all my life and I like my independence as much as I can, so the Winter Fuel Allowance is something I rely on.

"But, to be honest, I'm grateful for the pounds 200. I think we should all be doing our bit for our country at the moment as it's in a bit of a state. And, as a pensioner, giving up that pounds 50 is my bit.

"You just have a live by your means. With the cut, instead of having ham and pease pudding sandwiches, I'll just have to have ham.

"I feel we need to help our country and if sacrificing pounds 50 helps, I don't mind. It might be a bit of a bigger issue if you're over 79 and you're losing pounds 100.

"I know David Cameron promised he wouldn't touch winter fuel, but sometimes we all say things from the bottom of our hearts but circumstances crop up that can't be predicted.

"I'm pretty sure that is what happened with Mr Cameron.

"When he made his promise, I doubt he knew then the full extent of the mess the country was in.

"I'm grateful for what I have and I count my blessings."

But Age charities and conventions did not agree with Mrs Tait's opinion.

Dot Gibson, National Pensioners' Convention general secretary, branded the decision a "disgrace".

She said: "It's a shabby way to treat Britain's older generation.

"If we really are all in this together, why is he going to take pounds 100 off the Winter Fuel Allowance for the oldest members of society at a time when fuel bills are rising and winter deaths among older people are a national scandal? …

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