HC Deb 19 January 1996 vol 269 c989 9.34 am
Mr. Frank Cook (Stockton, North)

With the leave of the House, I should like to present a petition on behalf of the senior citizens of the Darlington Lane branch of the National Federation of Retirement Pensions Associations and others in the parliamentary constituency of Stockton, North. It is on an issue of long standing—standing charges on utility services.

The petition is presented at a time when that issue is revealed in stark contrast—more so than previously—in that vast profits are being made since the privatisation of those utilities and obscene salaries are being paid to people who do no more than occupy seats on the board of management. The Petition…sheweth that those sections of the community who are in receipt of State Retirement Pension and State Benefits are suffering great hardship on account of the increase in the cost of living, the imposition of V.A.T. and the decreasing purchasing power of the said Pension. Standing Charges on bills for the essential supply of gas, electricity, water and telephone are unwarranted and bear most heavily on low income households. Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House should pass legislation forthwith for the relief of Old Age Pensioners and others in receipt of low incomes by requiring the Companies supplying households with gas, electricity, water and telephones to abolish Standing Charges. And Your Petitioners, as in duty bound shall ever pray etc.

To lie upon the Table.

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