Pensioner expects to lose tax-free entitlement

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Indy Politics
FREDERICK MUNNS has been expecting the Government to take his invalidity benefit away. Now 66 and unable to work since 1988 due to spondilolysis of the spine, he believes the Government will take away his benefit soon.

At present, disabled pensioners can claim invalidity benefit until they reach 70. The payment is at the same rate as a pension but has the advantage of being tax-free.

Mr Munns, a former journalist from North Weald, Middlesex, now spends most of the day on his back. He cannot use a wheelchair because he is not able to sit for very long.

Last May, worried about rumours of Department of Social Services spending cuts, he wrote to John Major, the Prime Minister, appealing for a fair deal for the disabled.

He receives pounds 96 a week invalidity benefit, calculated on the same basis as his pension entitlement, and pounds 41 a week disability living allowance. If his invalidity benefit is scrapped he will get a pension of the same amount although he would have to pay tax.

'I'm expecting them to stop the invalidity payment,' he said. 'It is an obvious thing for them to do and I'm not pleading poverty. I just hope they don't scrap the disability living allowance as well.'

Yesterday he received a response from the Prime Minister's office saying his letter had been referred to the relevant department.

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