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More help from DHSS with fuel costs 27 February 2007

At last week’s sitting, Tynwald agreed to the payment of a £100 Additional Winter Bonus to pensioners and certain others who receive either income support or income-based jobseeker’s allowance.

This additional lump-sum payment was one of a number of recommendations which were made last year by Government’s Energy Costs Task Force and subsequently approved by Tynwald in October.

Payment of the additional bonus will automatically be made to those eligible in March. There will be no need for them to make a claim. It will be paid alongside their regular benefit payment, either at the post office or direct into their bank or building society account.

To be entitled to the bonus a person must be entitled to either income support or income-based jobseeker’s allowance during the first week in March and be aged 60 or over, disabled, have been incapacitated for at least a year or have a child under the age of 5 living with them.

For the vast majority of those eligible, the £100 Additional Winter Bonus will be a welcome boost to the £300 Winter Bonus they received in January.

The Department was granted an extra £200,000 by Tynwald to meet the cost of the Bonus.

Commenting on the measure, Minister for the DHSS Eddie Teare MHK said “The decision to pay an Additional Winter Bonus was effectively made last October, in reaction to announcements of increases in domestic fuel tariffs last September. I am pleased to say that fuel prices have actually fallen since then, so the 2,000 or so recipients of this extra Bonus will feel a real benefit from it. Whether or not there should be a similar payment in 2008 will be determined later in the year, having regard to the movement in domestic fuel prices over the next several months”.

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