Drew Hendry MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey has put more pressure on the UK government to increase winter fuel payments for those infected with contaminated NHS blood and blood products.
People across the UK who were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C in the 1970s and 1980s currently receive winter fuel payments from the Caxton Foundation charity. These range from around £300 to £500 per year depending on the funding available to the Foundation each year.
A recent increase in registrants has meant more pressure on the Caxton budget. As a UK-wide charity, any plan to increase the payments would have to be agreed by all four UK ministers.
Earlier this year, Health Secretary for Scotland Shona Robison MSP wrote to Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health Jane Ellison MP to ask that payments be increased. She has yet to receive a reply.
In the House of Commons today, Drew Hendry MP asked Ms Ellison:
“The victims are clearly identified and they are well overdue a final settlement. Weeks ago in this chamber I asked the government if they would provide additional support for victims through this winter, because it may be mild here but it’s not mild everywhere and many are suffering from fuel poverty.
“It’s Christmas and given the ever stretching time that this is taking to resolve, will the minister now commit to providing that support. She has been asked by the Scottish government to do that, will she commit to it now?”
In response, Ms Ellison said that she intended to respond to Ms Robison in the next few days, and that she was waiting for responses from the other devolved governments.