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MP joins Lib Dem colleagues to demand backdating of benefits continues

September 4, 2008 4:18 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today pledged to sign a parliamentary motion to call on the Government to not cut the time that they backdate benefit payments for from 12 months to just 3.

Mr Farron was contacted about this issue by a constituent who was made to wait for nearly a year for their pension credit, which lead to serious financial hardship. He has joined 19 of his Liberal Democrat colleagues to support the cross-party parliamentary motion.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has proposed that payment of housing benefit, council tax benefit and pension credit should not be backdated by the current 12 months. The government made a proposal similar to this in 2000 but it was hastily withdrawn at the time because of serious and vocal opposition from all sides of the political divide.

As he pledged to sign the parliamentary motion on his return to Westminster, Mr Farron said, "A major part of my work is helping constituents, and I and my staff work very hard to make sure that local people get exactly what they are owed.

"By cutting the length of time that the Government backdate payments for in this way, they will seriously affect their own targets on homelessness and poverty. I hope that they reconsider this retrograde policy proposal immediately."