A senior Kirklees councillor is asking serious questions of the Government after an elderly couple suddenly lost the £150 Warm Homes Discount they had been receiving.

Clr Will Simpson, the council’s Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, was called in by the couple who live in the Labour councillor’s Denby Dale ward.

The Skelmanthorpe couple, Albert and Nora, live on £374 a fortnight and relied on the £150 to pay their energy bill.

Previously the Government gave energy suppliers some discretion over who was eligible to receive Warm Homes Discount but that has recently been removed.

That meant some vulnerable people, like Albert and Nora, suddenly lost the vital extra help they relied on.

Albert, who has had cancer and a stroke, said: “We really relied on this money towards our energy bill. It’s like the Government is pulling back the £150 a year off the people who really need it, the elderly and vulnerable.”

Clr Simpson raised their case with both the council and the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

As a result, Kirklees Council has stepped in and awarded £199 to Albert and Nora, more than compensating for the loss of support from Government.

Clr Simpson said: “It is quite frankly appalling that during the worst cost-of-living crisis in generations, the Government has decided to remove support from vulnerable people.

“Where they have stepped away, I am proud that our Labour administration has stepped up to help Albert and Nora.”

Clr Simpson has written to the Government calling for a review of the issue to ensure vulnerable residents across Kirklees and the rest of country have their support reinstated.

He added: “Under the previous scheme people would be eligible for such as disability, household income or receipt of other benefits but energy suppliers could also set their own additional criteria.

“There were a number of additional criteria that residents could have qualified under – such as ill-health or household income – at the discretion of their energy company.

“We don’t know how many people are losing out regionally or nationally at the moment. This is something I have been trying to find out.”

Clr Simpson had contacted Wakefield Labour MP Simon Lightwood who had submitted a written question in Parliament.

In response energy minister Graham Stuart said the Government didn’t keep data on how many people were eligible under the original criteria and could not assess how many people no longer qualified.