UK Pensions Minister receives Northern Ireland winter fuel cut petition

Steve Webb MP receives petition

A group of older people from Northern Ireland, supported by a petition representing almost 15,000 voices here, travelled to Westminster this week in order to declare their opposition to the cut to the winter fuel payment this year by between £50 and £100.

The group - all members of Age Sector Platform - the charity behind the widely supported petition, say they are determined to ensure that the UK Government is fully aware of the disgust and disappointment of people across Northern Ireland in response to their decision to reduce the payment.

Read 9th edition of aspire online

aspire magazine issue 9

Issue 9 of aspire - Age Sector Platform's newsletter - is now available to view online.

Inside this edition we have reports from the two day NI Pensioners Parliament in June 2011, the Platform’s fifth AGM, a report from the NPC’s Pensioners Parliament in Blackpool and an update on our ‘Fight the Winter Fuel Cut’ campaign.

Great progress but a tough job ahead

Claire Keatinge

Age Sector Platform and Age NI warmly welcome the appointment of Ms Claire Keatinge to the post of Older People’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland and call for Ms Keatinge to take proactive, immediate steps to improve the lives of older people here.

100 a day add voice to Winter Fuel Cut campaign

Winter Fuel Cut Campaign

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.

Platform members give evidence at Finance Committee

Ivan Baxter

Members of Age Sector Platform appeared before the NI Assembly's Finance Committee this morning to present evidence regarding the issue of equal pay for civil service pensioners.

Ivan Baxter and Sam Caul representing the Civil Service Pensioners Alliance (NI) and Nixon Armstrong representing NIPSA Retired Members gave evidence to the new committee following May's election.

Energy price hikes increase fear among older people


Age Sector Platform has revealed that recent announcements made about gas and electricity price rises have prompted a dramatic increase in the number of calls from older people worried about how they will cope with paying their home heating bills during the coming winter. The charity's ‘Fight the Winter Fuel Cut’ campaign has seen thousands of people from across Northern Ireland sign their name in opposition to the planned cut to the winter fuel payment this year; with over 6,000 supporters now officially recorded.

Footage from the NI Pensioners Parliament 2011

NI Pensioners Parliament 2011

Footage from the very first Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament held in Belfast on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 June 2011, is now available to view here.

Protection of cheques will be great relief to older people

Protection of cheques

A prominent organisation representing older people in Northern Ireland has welcomed the recent announcement made by the Payments Council in which it revealed plans to abandon the phasing out of cheques by 2018.  Age Sector Platform, who worked with the Payments Council over the last few years to ensure the opinions of older people were taken into account, has described the process as ‘authentic and truly consultative’.

Fight the Winter Fuel Cut

Bill Carson

Age Sector Platform has chosen today’s summer solstice as the unusual time to launch their winter themed campaign entitled ‘Fight the Winter Fuel Cut’. The organisation, who recently organised the Pensioners Parliament in Belfast, claims that as we enjoy the longest day of the year older people are already worried about the long winter days that await them.

Read 8th edition of aspire online

aspire magazine issue 8

Issue 8 of aspire - Age Sector Platform's newsletter - is now available to view online.

Inside this edition we have news on the launch of the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament, as well as reports from each local parliament.

To view a digital copy of the newsletter click HERE. Hard copies will be mailed to members, and other interested bodies/individuals during the next few weeks.