Cold you believe it in Sussex

First published in News by

Barmy Government officials have been criticised for a postcode lottery which will see people in just three areas of Sussex given cold weather payments.

The £25-a-week assistance is triggered when an area's average temperature falls or is forecast to fall to 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.

But only elderly and vulnerable people living in BN5, BN6 and BN44 will get the handout – whereas their neighbours just a few miles away have to find the money themselves.

The Department for Work and Pensions issues the money to pensioners, the unemployed, severely disabled people and families with a young or disabled child.

Last night, charity chiefs expressed anger at the "ridiculous" payment system which they were only made aware of when contacted by The Argus.

Paul Bates, of Help The Aged, said: "We think this is a daft system.

"It is a ridiculous situation when pensioners in one part of one county are receiving less benefits than their neighbours further along in Sussex.

"Instead of making cold weather payments which are based on a bizarre meteorological calculation, we would much rather see a significant increase in the basic state pension so that older people can meet their living costs."

The weather in Sussex is monitored by weather stations based at Charlwood, near Gatwick, Herstmonceux and Thorney Island, in Chichester.

People living in and around Henfield, Hassocks and Steyning will get the payments because their area has been flagged up by experts at Charlwood.

The payments cover the period January 7-13 because the temperature in these areas has been forecast to consistently fall to 0°C or below.

But Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames was furious, and could not believe that other areas of the county had not been 0°C or below over the same period.

He said: “It is ridiculous. Clearly it’s absurd. The whole of England has been under such heavy frost, even the mainline trains have broken down.

“It is really stupid and if my constituents get in touch with me I will be onto the minister.”

Meanwhile Eastbourne MP Nigel Waterson said: "It's an absurdly inflexible system which will for example mean pensioners in my constituency who have been suffering badly from the cold spell will not receive a penny."

Cold weather benefits are paid automatically and directly into the accounts of those people who qualify.

This year the Government has raised the benefit from £8.50 to £25.

On Tuesday, the Department for Work and Pensions said cold weather payments had now been triggered at 52 weather stations around the UK since the start of this winter.

A total of 3.7m payments will be made nationwide totalling £93 million.

James Purnell, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “We don't want people to worry about turning up their heating when it's cold.

"That is why we've trebled the Cold Weather Payment to £25, to put money in the pockets of the people who need it most.

"Millions of vulnerable people and pensioners are now in line for this extra help after the recent cold snap."

Are you angry with the cold weather payment system? Tell us your views below.

Comments (18)

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11:20pm Wed 7 Jan 09

TheInsider says...

Just pay the £25 to all pensioners and the vulnerable and stop being so petty, not just the ones who happen to live near the weather stations.
I know elderly people who are sitting in ice cold homes sodden with condensation because the temperature indoors never gets high enough to dry the house out. They are too frightened to put the heating on and its damned cold whether it is five degrees or below freezing when you are old or vulnerable.
It is a disgrace.

Just pay the £25 to all pensioners and the vulnerable and stop being so petty, not just the ones who happen to live near the weather stations. I know elderly people who are sitting in ice cold homes sodden with condensation because the temperature indoors never gets high enough to dry the house out. They are too frightened to put the heating on and its damned cold whether it is five degrees or below freezing when you are old or vulnerable. It is a disgrace. TheInsider
  • Score: 0

12:25am Thu 8 Jan 09

Andy R says...

Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance!
Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance! Andy R
  • Score: 0

12:56am Thu 8 Jan 09

Jim BB says...

So no helps for the pensioners in Eastbourne and Peacehaven (high levels of OAPs there) or those struggling elsewhere. Out of interest, how much money do MPs get to heat their second homes...
So no helps for the pensioners in Eastbourne and Peacehaven (high levels of OAPs there) or those struggling elsewhere. Out of interest, how much money do MPs get to heat their second homes... Jim BB
  • Score: 0

7:15am Thu 8 Jan 09

william of orange says...

Andy R wrote:
Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance!

...err putting on extra clothing in cold weather is pure common sense...I think you'll find a lot of people do it....and coal production was shut down because of greedy, militant, miners pricing themselves out of a job when cheaper alternatives at the time (gas) were available.

The mistake the Tories made was to destroy and fill in the mineshafts rather than mothball them for later as the low price of gas was relatively temporary and could not last forever.
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance![/p][/quote] ...err putting on extra clothing in cold weather is pure common sense...I think you'll find a lot of people do it....and coal production was shut down because of greedy, militant, miners pricing themselves out of a job when cheaper alternatives at the time (gas) were available. The mistake the Tories made was to destroy and fill in the mineshafts rather than mothball them for later as the low price of gas was relatively temporary and could not last forever. william of orange
  • Score: 0

7:53am Thu 8 Jan 09

william of orange says...

Andy R wrote:
Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance!

The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises.

A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer!

Sack the gnomes...cut the tax!
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance![/p][/quote] The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises. A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer! Sack the gnomes...cut the tax! william of orange
  • Score: 0

9:06am Thu 8 Jan 09

aaaaaaah says...

william of orange wrote:
Andy R wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance!
The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises. A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer! Sack the gnomes...cut the tax!
and guess who Andy R works for?

Cushy pension methinks
[quote][p][bold]william of orange[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance![/p][/quote] The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises. A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer! Sack the gnomes...cut the tax![/p][/quote]and guess who Andy R works for? Cushy pension methinks aaaaaaah
  • Score: 0

11:40am Thu 8 Jan 09

BBBrighton says...

well I dont like this cold weather payment thing. Old people have loadza money! - a cushy pension scheme that I certainly won't get when Im coming up to retirement age, free stuff, free tv license, free travel cheaper leccy bills. Im a higer rate tax payer and what do I get? oh yeah a tax bill increase woohooo
well I dont like this cold weather payment thing. Old people have loadza money! - a cushy pension scheme that I certainly won't get when Im coming up to retirement age, free stuff, free tv license, free travel cheaper leccy bills. Im a higer rate tax payer and what do I get? oh yeah a tax bill increase woohooo BBBrighton
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Thu 8 Jan 09

Andy R says...

aaaaaaah wrote:
william of orange wrote:
Andy R wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance!
The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises. A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer! Sack the gnomes...cut the tax!
and guess who Andy R works for? Cushy pension methinks
Hmmm......a sudden change from discussing the issue to abusing an individual. The surest admission of defeat there is. And of course failing to check one's facts before posting comments can get one into sooooh much trouble......
[quote][p][bold]aaaaaaah[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]william of orange[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance![/p][/quote] The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises. A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer! Sack the gnomes...cut the tax![/p][/quote]and guess who Andy R works for? Cushy pension methinks[/p][/quote]Hmmm......a sudden change from discussing the issue to abusing an individual. The surest admission of defeat there is. And of course failing to check one's facts before posting comments can get one into sooooh much trouble...... Andy R
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Thu 8 Jan 09

aaaaaaah says...

Andy R wrote:
aaaaaaah wrote:
william of orange wrote:
Andy R wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance!
The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises. A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer! Sack the gnomes...cut the tax!
and guess who Andy R works for? Cushy pension methinks
Hmmm......a sudden change from discussing the issue to abusing an individual. The surest admission of defeat there is. And of course failing to check one's facts before posting comments can get one into sooooh much trouble......
so you're not a public sector employee with a final salary pension then?

Pull the other one
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]aaaaaaah[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]william of orange[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: Puke-inducing hypocrisy from Waterson and Soames. On their watch cold weather payments were pathetically low and people had to jump through all manner of bureaucratic hoops to get them Pensioners died in their thousands from cold while Thatcher shut down coal production. And who could forget Tory minister Edwina Currie's infamous instruction to pensioners to "put on an extra woolie" if they were cold. Presumably they hope we've all forgotten. Not a chance![/p][/quote] The payments may have been low under the Tories but you have to remember that so was council tax!! ...then Council Tax was a mere FRACTION of what it is now. Labour have used Council Tax to fund their profligate spending since coming to power by dictating that Councils do more and more and then hiding behind the councils rather than Government for the inevitable tax rises. A bit silly really taking it from people with one hand only to give it back to them with the other! The only people who benefit are the Government employees on nice civil service pensions. If you actually speak to old people you'll find they would rather have council tax reduced than an erratic £25 given at the whim of Government paid gnomes who can't read a thermometer! Sack the gnomes...cut the tax![/p][/quote]and guess who Andy R works for? Cushy pension methinks[/p][/quote]Hmmm......a sudden change from discussing the issue to abusing an individual. The surest admission of defeat there is. And of course failing to check one's facts before posting comments can get one into sooooh much trouble......[/p][/quote]so you're not a public sector employee with a final salary pension then? Pull the other one aaaaaaah
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Thu 8 Jan 09

Andy R says...

Do you suffer these lapses in concentration often? It's a story about cold weather payments.
Do you suffer these lapses in concentration often? It's a story about cold weather payments. Andy R
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Thu 8 Jan 09

aaaaaaah says...

If public sector pension were in line with the private sector then council tax bills could be reduced and this ridiculous cold weather payment scheme could be scrapped - as council tax would be a hell of a lot lower...

20-25% of council tax goes to BHCC pensions.

So a 10% reduction in council tax bills would not be too bad would it now?

It would give private sector workers the opportunity to save for their retirement rather than pay for someone elses.

If public sector pension were in line with the private sector then council tax bills could be reduced and this ridiculous cold weather payment scheme could be scrapped - as council tax would be a hell of a lot lower... 20-25% of council tax goes to BHCC pensions. So a 10% reduction in council tax bills would not be too bad would it now? It would give private sector workers the opportunity to save for their retirement rather than pay for someone elses. aaaaaaah
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Thu 8 Jan 09

Granny says...

I am a pensioner - can BBBrighton tell me how I can get hold of all these cheap things he talks about. All I get is free bus travel, the penalty of having worked hard all my life and paid my dues. Judging by the spelling, BBBrighton must be of the younger generation, and living in cloud cuckoo land. Anyway, back to the subject in hand,why should pensioners be penalised just because there is no official weather station in their area? The system stinks.
I am a pensioner - can BBBrighton tell me how I can get hold of all these cheap things he talks about. All I get is free bus travel, the penalty of having worked hard all my life and paid my dues. Judging by the spelling, BBBrighton must be of the younger generation, and living in cloud cuckoo land. Anyway, back to the subject in hand,why should pensioners be penalised just because there is no official weather station in their area? The system stinks. Granny
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Thu 8 Jan 09

BBBrighton says...

indeed I am of the younger generation granny, and you are getting a lot more than I will ever get when I reach your ripe old age! I am subsidising your retirement with my rather large tax bill and trying to put some aside for my own future, if you had done the same then cold winter payments wouldn’t be needed! Older people are entitled to social tariff’s on their energy bills which mean they get a certain percentage off anyway! – if all old people moved to smaller houses they would have cheap council tax, cheap energy bills and everyone will be happy! - Of course by the time I want to take my nice nest egg and retire it will probably only be worth 60p and my house completely worthless so I will have to go and live in a shoe, and farm some children to get by! If only I’d have sat back and wasted my life as a teenager, got some lovely lady preggers and got a drinking problem I’d be laughing all the way to the bank by now. That’s life.
indeed I am of the younger generation granny, and you are getting a lot more than I will ever get when I reach your ripe old age! I am subsidising your retirement with my rather large tax bill and trying to put some aside for my own future, if you had done the same then cold winter payments wouldn’t be needed! Older people are entitled to social tariff’s on their energy bills which mean they get a certain percentage off anyway! – if all old people moved to smaller houses they would have cheap council tax, cheap energy bills and everyone will be happy! - Of course by the time I want to take my nice nest egg and retire it will probably only be worth 60p and my house completely worthless so I will have to go and live in a shoe, and farm some children to get by! If only I’d have sat back and wasted my life as a teenager, got some lovely lady preggers and got a drinking problem I’d be laughing all the way to the bank by now. That’s life. BBBrighton
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Thu 8 Jan 09

colavey says...

BBBrighton So who do you think has been subsidising you from the day you was born, until you left home, and yes a lot of elderly did save for private pensions only to have them stolen, the greedy fat pr@t who used to own the daily mirror comes to mind. , grow up and get a life.
BBBrighton So who do you think has been subsidising you from the day you was born, until you left home, and yes a lot of elderly did save for private pensions only to have them stolen, the greedy fat pr@t who used to own the daily mirror comes to mind. , grow up and get a life. colavey
  • Score: 0

10:54am Fri 9 Jan 09

Float_Fisherman says...

where i live in BN1 its so cold that the snow we had at the end of last week is still in my garden in patches, its also that cold i have ice on the inside of my car, we have a disabled child and the payment would help us.
where i live in BN1 its so cold that the snow we had at the end of last week is still in my garden in patches, its also that cold i have ice on the inside of my car, we have a disabled child and the payment would help us. Float_Fisherman
  • Score: 0

11:27am Sat 10 Jan 09

Float_Fisherman says...

BN1 area last night at 1900hrs was -5, this morning at 0730hrs it was -8
BN1 area last night at 1900hrs was -5, this morning at 0730hrs it was -8 Float_Fisherman
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Sat 10 Jan 09

The Garden Slug says...

What about hard working low paid workers, i bet they get s0d all help when the gas/leccy bill comes in.

Dont give it to anybody - thats fair
What about hard working low paid workers, i bet they get s0d all help when the gas/leccy bill comes in. Dont give it to anybody - thats fair The Garden Slug
  • Score: 0

3:23pm Sun 11 Jan 09

Dribbler says...

This 'cold weather' payment is yet another gimmick. I note that Mr Lepper states that the Pensioners bonus which has been £10 for years is to be increased by £10 to £70. This should read as, a one off payment in January of £60 in addition to the £10 paid in December. He conveniently forgets that many pensioners who saved for their retirement are losing money on the poor interest rates. Many of us also pay full Council tax and income tax. We are retired not retarded!
This 'cold weather' payment is yet another gimmick. I note that Mr Lepper states that the Pensioners bonus which has been £10 for years is to be increased by £10 to £70. This should read as, a one off payment in January of £60 in addition to the £10 paid in December. He conveniently forgets that many pensioners who saved for their retirement are losing money on the poor interest rates. Many of us also pay full Council tax and income tax. We are retired not retarded! Dribbler
  • Score: 0
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