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Temperature test for expats' winter fuel allowance

Source: Expatriate Healthcare - Sat 29th Jun 2013
Temperature test for expats' winter fuel allowance

A temperature test is to be brought into use in order to establish whether or not expatriates should qualify for the winter fuel allowance.

The plan has been unveiled by the chancellor George Osborne as a way to justify welfare cuts that are affecting those of a working age.

More than 10,000 people living in foreign countries are likely to lose the payment, which can amount to as much as £300 a year, when the change comes into effect.

UK Prime minister David Cameron had pledged that the payments would be protected until 2015 at the last election, but he is facing increased calls that they should be scrapped for those living in sunny climates.

Around £2 million is paid out each week to expats in welfare benefits, but this is likely to change after the next election, according to the spending review.

The test is expected to rule out winter fuel payments for anyone living in a European country which has a higher average winter temperature than the warmest parts of the UK.

By excluding these people the government could save as much as £30 million a year.

It does mean that richer pensioners who have moved to colder countries would continue to receive the payment while poorer expats in warmer destinations would lose it.

Currently Brits who move abroad must have been in the UK up until the age of 60 in order to qualify for the payment.

A recent ruling by the European Court of Justice means that the government could be forced to extend this to all 444,000 expat pensioners no matter when they left the UK.

Recommended Reading

Until those changes take effect click HERE to read How to Claim a Winter Fuel Allowance as an Expat.

This would amount to somewhere in the region of £100 million and there has been a 13-fold increase in claims for the benefit over the last 10 years.

A source said: "It can't be right that a payment meant to help people through cold winters is going to those living in the Mediterranean."

Click here to read More News Stories by Expatriate Healthcare?

Comment on this Story

 
I worked all my life in England paying all my taxes and doing five years in the forces when I retired I came to Spain for health reasons Now I am told the Government want to take the fuel money of us what was part of the pension to save money If they want to save money look in any Hospital doctors waiting room school and see how many people getting top service and never paid a penny into the system anywhere else if you have not paid in you get nothing out good system rich MPs telling the poor to cut down
Mr Derek Clarke - Wed, 17th Dec 2014
I agree with first part of above info but last paragraph no, if its so warm why have i still got duvet on my bed, houses overhere here are built for warm weather, you freeze in the winter, summer its hot, therefore we need heating in the winter and fans going all summer, i know summers are hot in UK but not as hot as here, which means we are paying all year round, and why is it that the rich always gain and us poorer people lose, and please don,t say move back to UK can,t afford to, unlike a lot of people living overhere, i don,t have a property in UK.
Una Faye Marie - Wed, 26th Mar 2014