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Posted by John King
The likelihood of pensioners' winter fuel allowance money being paid earlier in the year has increased after the text of a Private Members' Bill supporting it was published.
This paves the way for a second reading of the proposals in parliament next month, something Moray-based MP Angus Robertson is eager to see happening.
He argues that it would make little difference to the government if the payment was brought forward from November or December to the summer months.
However, it would have a very positive effect on people who live off the national gas grid and rely on heating oil, because it would allow them to stock up at a time when prices are much lower and give them peace of mind that their tank is already full ahead of winter's arrival.
Scottish National Party spokesperson Michael Weir said: "The cross-party and cross country backing for this bill show that there is widespread support for action to help fuel-poor pensioners."
People who live alone and were born before July 5th 1951 receive £100 as their winter fuel allowance, while those aged 80 or over are paid £300.
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