Changes to winter fuel payments for pensioners

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An article printed in the Olive Press on the 5th September reported that British expats may be eligible for a winter fuel repayment under the terms of a new EU ruling, which could see around 100,000 British pensioners making the claim.

In the past, expats were only able to receive the payment if they turned 60 before leaving the UK and if they had left the country after the payment was introduced in 1998. The new ruling means that pensioners only need to have sufficient links to the UK in order to claim, such as having lived and worked in the UK for most of their working life.

This new ruling will affect around 440,000 British pensioners who live outside Britain but within the EU. Payments are expected to range from between £200 and £300 depending circumstances.  This is a much needed help come winter time, however Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has called for the introduction of a temperature test to determine eligibility for pensioners living outside of Britain.

While temperatures do fall in Spain, they do not enter the same zone of freeze that Britain does. On one hand it could be looked as ludicrous to offer pensioners in Spain the same winter refuel refund as they would receive in Britain, but on the other it could be argued that pensioners still feel the cold in Spain. With their bodies acclimatising to the hot summers there is still a need for heating come the winter season, which doesn’t come cheap.

Let us know what your views are on this matter, is it fair that pensioners in Spain have to take a temperature test in order to receive the repayment? Or do you think that pensioners living outside of Britain should be entitled to the refund regardless?

To read the full article from the Olive Press click here

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