Author: Age Sector Platform
Published on 30 September 2011 02:30 PM
Yesterday marked 100 days since the beginning of Age Sector Platform’s Fight the Winter Fuel Cut campaign.
The campaign, which was launched on the Summer solstice in June 2011 has captured the attention of people across Northern Ireland from Lisnaskea to Ballycastle, Omagh to Downpatrick. Within the first 100 days of the campaign, the support has proven to be phenomenal with Age Sector Platform amassing 10,000 signatures for the petition. This equates to a staggering 100 people per day who have declared their opposition to the UK Governments widely criticised cuts.
This year, the UK Government decided to cut the Winter Fuel Payment by £50 for people aged between 60 and 80, and by £100 for those aged over 80; despite spiralling fuel prices and last December being the coldest in Northern Ireland for over 100 years.
The ‘Fight the Winter Fuel Cut’ campaign is a product of the hugely successful Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament held earlier this year, through which it was discovered the most popular motion relating to energy prices was in fact about the winter fuel cut, with almost all (97%) of those in attendance being in support of the motion “to call on the UK Government to reverse its decision to cut the Winter Fuel Payment this year and to look at ways of linking future payments to energy prices”.
The campaign, since its launch in June 2011, has had sustained support, with 100 people per day either signing a campaign postcard or filling in the online petition at www.fightfuelcut.org. Many of the people showing their support have shared quite humbling details of their personal circumstance, with one supporter commenting ‘With this cut pensioners will have to choose between proper food or heat this winter’. Another said ‘My income no longer meets my needs, I am anxious about the cut in Winter fuel payment’.
Patricia Donald, Chair of Age Sector Platform, said “The support this campaign has received has been astounding, it is great to see members of the public come together and make their voice heard in resistance to this despicable cut by the UK government.”
“Age Sector Platform is very pleased to have reached our goal of 10,000 signatures before our planned trip to Westminster at the end of October, where we will present the petition to Downing Street, the fact that we have achieved this number in just 100 days goes to show the level of support within Northern Ireland for this campaign. However, the campaign does not stop simply because we have reached the 10,000 mark. We want to have as many signatures as possible to ensure this appalling decision is reversed.”
Age Sector Platform is encouraging anyone who hasn’t signed up to the campaign to show their support by contacting them on 028 9031 2089 or signing the online petition at www.fightfuelcut.org.