Winter fuel payment: Ruth Davidson says Scots should keep benefit

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PA

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The Labour leader said the proposals had caused greater consternation

Scottish pensioners should continue to get winter fuel payments because the country is colder, the Scottish Conservative Party leader has said.

On Thursday Theresa May announced plans to means-test the benefit in England and Wales if she wins the election.

But the SNP-led Scottish government says it will not follow suit in Scotland – and Ruth Davidson has now said she will not try to either.

Labour has said it will keep universal payments if it wins power.

At the moment, households automatically receive a single payment, ranging from £100 to £300, each December if there is one person living there who has reached the qualifying age and who meets other criteria.

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Theresa May and Ruth Davidson launch the Scottish Tory manifesto

About 12.26 million people received the tax-free allowance in 2015-6, at a total cost of just over £2bn.

Under plans in the Conservative manifesto, eligibility would be related to income – although the party has not indicated what the threshold would be and who would qualify.

But the cut would apply only in England and Wales – all pensioners in Scotland would continue to receive the payments because the SNP-led government wants to keep them.

Ms Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, who sits in the Scottish Parliament, said she would not be calling on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to fall in line with the rest of the UK if Conservative leader Mrs May wins the general…

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