“I welcome the news, revealed in response to assembly questions
that 2323 people in North Down are currently benefitting from
the Lone Pensioner Allowance scheme in North Down, and that
this scheme has saved North Down pensioners £2.2 million over
the last 5 years. This scheme gives a 20% discount in rates bills
to Pensioners living on their own over the age of 70. This is an important
support mechanism for local pensioners, but has often flown below
the radar.

It is also important to note that the update of the Allowance has
increased in the last 5 years, with the amount of Allowance increasing
from £390,000 to just short of £500000 in the last financial year. The
increase in uptake has particularly increased in the last 3 years, and I
would anticipate that the figures for 2015/6 would top half a million.
There are however pensioners in North Down who either do not know
about the allowance or feel reluctant to apply for it. The increase in
uptake is welcome, but I would urge anyone who is entitled to apply
to take the simple step of doing so.”

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