Published on 23 April 2013 12:00 PM
Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has welcomed that since April 2008, over 35,000 pensioners have availed of the Lone Pensioner Allowance totalling £21.8million in rates assistance.
The Lone Pensioner Allowance scheme administered by Land & Property Services entitles people aged 70 and over who live alone to a 20% discount in their rate bill. The scheme has been running since April 2008.
Sammy Wilson said: “The Lone Pensioner Allowance is of significant benefit to our older and more vulnerable citizens and continues to be of great assistance to those who live on their own and who are finding managing their finances very difficult in the current economic climate.
“I am encouraged that the numbers receiving this rates relief continues to increase each year – the success of this scheme is dependent on the message getting out that help is available.
“Over 35,000 pensioners have so far qualified for the 20% discount totalling over £21.8million in rates assistance to lone pensioners – this is testament that this scheme is providing much needed help.”
The Minister, who was visiting the Young at Heart Exhibition in Belfast for retired people in Northern Ireland, was keen to highlight that there is also help available for older people who do not live alone.
The Minister said: “There are a number of other reliefs and entitlements that are available to those on a low income and to pensioners including Housing Benefit and Rate Relief. I am taking this opportunity to encourage pensioners or those with responsibility for looking after vulnerable people to check out what is on offer and apply if they think they might qualify.”
Full details of these reliefs and entitlements are included in the booklet ratepayers will have received with their bill or online at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates