Basically it's a £100 payment the council give to pensioners over 80 to help them with their winter heating bills to hopefully stop many of our old folks getting hypothermia during our harsh Scottish winters.
Charity organisations say that many pensioners - especially older pensioners in their 80's - find themselves having to choose between eating and putting the fire on to keep warm during the winter so the £100 Affordable Warmth Dividend from Glasgow City Council is an absolute God-send to these poor pensioners.
So, Glasgow City Council should be applauded for this wonderful and kind act of generosity to our old folks, right?
Eh, well, not quite.
Because there's a catch (good old Glasgow City Council, there's always a catch to everything they do eh)!
You see the application form that the old folks needed to fill in to apply for the 'Affordable Warmth Dividend' last year told them where to return the completed form to. But the letter they received this year asking them if they would like to apply for it again does NOT say where it should be returned to.
In fact it doesn't even tell them to return the form (and if they don't return they don't get the £100).
So picture the scene. A pensioner in his or her 80’s receives a letter from Glasgow City Council asking if they would like the £100 Affordable Warmth Dividend again, and if so, they should complete the section on the back of the letter.
They are not told to return the form.
They are not given any address or indication where the form should be returned to.
There isn't even an addressed envelope enclosed for them.
So the pensioners (and remember we're talking about people in their 80's) are expected to:
- Guess that the form should be sent back to Glasgow City Council.
- Guess where it should be sent back to.
- Go out and buy an envelope.
- Go out and buy a stamp.
Oh yes, certainly, there is an address on the letterhead which has the usual generic Glasgow City Council address on it but that address is just a PO box and not labeled to any department in particular so gives no indication that this is where the form should be sent back to.
So why would Glasgow City Council offer our oldest, poorest, and most vulnerable pensioners £100 to help heat their homes and keep them warm in the winter but then stack a host of obstacles in front of them and make them leap over hurdles to get it?
Oh that’s an easy one.
Glasgow City Council don’t really want to give £100 to pensioners in their 80's to keep them warm in the winter.
Glasgow City Council only want to give the illusion that they are giving pensioners in their 80's £100 to keep them warm in the winter.
Here’s how it works.
Councillors need to be re-elected to keep their power and their cushy jobs and all the lovely wee “extras” that comes with being an elected official ;-)
When it comes to election time, they need to be able to stand up and tell you, the voter, what wonderful people they are and how they gave our poor pensioners money to help keep them warm in the harsh Scottish winter.
Yes folks, our hearts are supposed to melt at the sheer generosity of these wonderful elected officials who care so much for our grannies and grandpa's (hey councillor, watch that halo doesn’t slip and choke you).
But what they don’t tell you is that the council is facing unprecedented budget cuts and they really don’t want to be giving anyone £100 if they can possibly avoid it.
So they purposely make it difficult and confusing for the poor and vulnerable old folks to claim the £100 in the hope that many won't do it.
See how it all works now?
The councillors get to make themselves out to be heroes who are doing wonderful things but in fact are doing very little or nothing.
And as per usual, when they read this post and realise they've been found out, you can guarantee that their PR department will go in to overdrive. They will, no doubt, shriek in mock horror and profuse that they honestly didn’t realise the form didn’t tell the old folks to return it, they didn’t realise the form didn't tell them where to return it to, they didn’t realise there was no return envelope enclosed, and it was all just an innocent and unfortunate error...and they'll apologise for it.
But in reality, all our councillors ever apologise for is getting caught out.
But come on folks, trying to con pensioners in their 80’s - the poorest and most vulnerable in our society - out of warmth for their homes in the winter just so they can make themselves look good and get re-elected has to be a step too far.
This is a seriously new low - even for Glasgow City Council.