Author Topic: Winter fuel payments for ex-pats  (Read 3296 times)

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Online Maik

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Winter fuel payments for ex-pats
« on: Saturday, 01 February, 2014 @ 16:28:46 »
Had a mention on GGi previously, here's the latest:

IDS to halt winter cash for 100,000 expat pensioners living in warmer countries

Almost 100,000 British pensioners living in warm countries including Spain, France and Greece are to lose their winter fuel payments in a crackdown on ‘sunshine benefits’.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has hammered out details of a new ‘temperature test’ that will remove the handout, worth up to £300 a year, from such expats.

In total, it will mean that payments are stopped to 92,983 residents of Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus and Gibraltar, he revealed. Taxpayers will save almost £17million a year.

Italy is not included because its northern region has a winter climate colder than that of the British Isles. Its exclusion means 1,859 Britons will still be able to claim the benefit, even if they live in the warmer south.

Controversially, the new regime will mean richer pensioners who have emigrated to colder countries – or warm parts of Italy – will continue to receive the payments, while poorer pensioners will lose it if they are in warmer areas.

Mr Duncan Smith said: ‘The huge increase in UK winter fuel payments made to people living in European countries equates to a near doubling in costs to the British taxpayer and follows a ridiculous ruling by the European Court of Justice.

‘The winter fuel payment is intended to help British pensioners with heating costs. From winter 2015/16, we are changing the rules so that it no longer goes to people in European countries with an average winter temperature higher than the warmest part of the UK.’