Expats demand fuel payment

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Indy Politics

Expat pensioners lapping up the sunshine on the Costa del Sol have launched an audacious campaign to be paid the same fuel allowance as their contemporaries shivering through a typical UK winter.

Expat pensioners lapping up the sunshine on the Costa del Sol have launched an audacious campaign to be paid the same fuel allowance as their contemporaries shivering through a typical UK winter.

Frost is rarely seen on Spain's southern coast, but the sun-tanned pensioners in Malaga, Spain, are undeterred, putting pressure on ministers to pay up, through the pages of their local paper.

Their demand has been made possible by Gordon Brown's decision to introduce a new flat rate fuel allowance for pensioners of £100, irrespective of temperature.

Pensioner James Bromley, in an article "Home Thoughts From Abroad" for the Costa del Sol newspaper The Market Place, cried "discrimination" when he didn't get his £100 allowance. He branded it a "charade" and urged elderly people living in the south of Spain to demand what was theirs.

"An immoral act has been perpetrated on a large group of elderly and vulnerable people," he wrote. "British citizens who have served their country are now being deprived of their rightful dues."

His appeal won immediate support among his fellow elderly emigrants. One pensioner suggested appealing to the EU about the matter, another a protest to Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Social Social Security.

The allowance was brought in by Chancellor Gordon Brown in March last year with the promise that all pensioners would receive a flat payment of £100 in December - an attempt to iron out anomalies surrounding an earlier scheme which only became effective when temperatures fell below freezing.

The Malaga pensioners' protest fell on deaf ears when put to the Department for Social Security.

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