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Calls for heating help for disabled residents

3rd January 2006

Winter fuel allowances should be extended to support more vulnerable people and keep them warm, according to a spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats.

The government should be doing more to help disabled residents with their heating bills, said John Barrett, MP for Edinburgh West, suggesting an extension of the current fuel allowance initiative.

Mr Barrett said that the allowance for elderly people had been a success and that disabled people should have access to the same benefits, as they were also vulnerable in terms of paying for heating bills.

"There are over a million severely disabled people who simply cannot keep their homes warm enough for fear of high fuel bills," he told the Scotsman.

"The winter fuel allowance for elderly people has helped, but extending it to the most needy of disabled people should be high on the government's agenda."

Urging the government to consider the plans, Mr Barrett said that supporting vulnerable people was the mark of a "decent society".