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 Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out

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davshaz
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PostSubject: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:03 pm

I've just come across this and wondered what your thoughts were? and is it fare?
My thoughts are.......Administering a "
fair"
scheme will cost a fortune, monitoring the temperature around the world and figuring out what regions are due payment, likewise the means testing idea.You could probably cut the payments to pensioners by 10%, but spend 10 times more than that on staff.The wealthier pensioners have probably paid more tax over their lives anyway.I look at what this government is doing and I become convinced they are determined to never win an election again - perhaps some of them prefer being in opposition.


Ex-pats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out
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Pensioners living in southern England could be stripped of their £200 winter fuel allowance while ex-pats in Spain continue to receive the benefit, under government plans. Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is fighting “ludicrous” European rules that mean the winter fuel payment must be made to an estimated 440,000 British pensioners living abroad.

Taxpayers face a £100 million bill for the annual hand-out to people who have retired to the Continent in order to live in sunnier climes.

Mr Duncan Smith announced yesterday that he intended to introduce a new “temperature” test to prevent pensioners receiving the benefit if they live in warm countries and do not need extra money to spend on winter fuel.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed that the new temperature rule would also apply to pensioners in Britain.

Campaigners raised concerns that this would see the elderly in milder areas of the south of England lose the benefit, while those in colder parts of Europe continue to receive it. The reform could also mean that pensioners living in Labour-supporting parts of Scotland and northern England keep the payment, while those in the southern Tory heartlands lose out.

The average low January temperature in Portsmouth is 41.4F (5.2C), warmer than Madrid, which has an average low of 37.4F (3C).

David Cameron has promised not to cut pensioners’ benefits during this parliament.

Pensioners’ groups warned that the current simple fuel payment scheme must not be withdrawn.

Michelle Mitchell, director-general of Age UK, said the payments provided “a lifeline to many vulnerable older people” who worried about their fuel bills. “While the introduction of a temperature test could allay concerns about ex-pats in hot countries receiving the payment, it is important that proposals for change do not complicate the system or result in those in need losing out,” she said.

The National Pensioners’ Convention described the current system of payments to ex-pats as “a complete mess”.

Neil Duncan-Jordan, a spokesman for the group, said: “Any attempt to clarify or simplify the allowance should not affect people in the UK.

“All parts of the UK are cold and most areas dip below freezing. We certainly wouldn’t want to see the winter fuel allowance moving on to some temperature test that means you only get it if you live north of Watford.”

Under previous rules, elderly ex-pats on the Continent could only receive the allowance if they turned 60 before leaving Britain and if they had left after the payment was introduced in 1998.

However, the European Court of Justice has ruled that claimants only need to have “a genuine and sufficient link” to the UK to qualify.

Payments begin at £200 for a household with a pensioner and rise to £300 for families including someone over 80.

Mr Duncan Smith yesterday promised to “protect taxpayers’ money and bring in a temperature criteria”. DWP officials said the details had not been finalised.
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therowfamily
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:26 pm

This nasty little man is well on the way to stealing the extra £5 billion from pensioners he is after. Even though over-65s made a net contribution of £40 billion to the UK economy in 2010, even allowing for the costs of pensions, welfare and health services he is still always after more.With his divide and conquer policy, some parts of southern England, which are much warmer then many parts of France and Spain will loose out. His temperature rule will again be illegal if it is again targeting minorities one by one. People in England wishing to drag down the income of others need to beware as they will be next. Means testing of income is out because it is not cost effective but he believes that means testing by temperature will be worth it by saving this £3 a week after tax for a small minority of ex-pats. The group of ex-pats who often worked hard, paid their dues and may have retired early through ill health. Ex-pats who often still pay UK taxes but do not get the free bus passes, prescriptions, NHS, eye tests, pension credits, housing benefits etc. Ex-pats who made the difficult choice to leave their families and friends to survive and to escaped the heat or eat dilemma in rip off UK to go to places where they may live in to old age with respect and security. People in my little village usually bye logs for heating and spend far more money than this means testing mean little man is so fixated on. We have no weather station so I expect one of his huge new army of inspectors to visit to investigate my claim, thermometer in hand. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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sallyann
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:53 pm

I am continually amazed how any politician or government can be 'surprised ' any more when the whole history of Europe is one of autocratic dictatorial tyrants.That in some far off fantasy of the mind we have a parliament that thinks it can serve two masters .Giving lip service to parliaments lawful and constitutional head but in reality serving the directives and the as yet unseen head.of the eu.Setting up a supreme court that is subject to an eu one. That has now been separated from Parliament and therefore the crown and contrary to the constitution and the rule of law, and exchanged it for 'justice' . Are you shocked? I'm not.
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Daisy
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:17 pm

This government has done nothing but attack pensioners since the day it got in. If it's not a minister attacking he gets his dirty work done by a Tory think tank. They seem to forget that pensioners traditionally vote Conservative and actually turn out to vote. Cameron has obviously decided he doesn't want a second term and is doing all he can to hand the next election to Labour on a plate. s
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:14 am

therowfamily wrote:
This nasty little man is well on the way to stealing the extra £5 billion from pensioners he is after. Even though over-65s made a net contribution of £40 billion to the UK economy in 2010, even allowing for the costs of pensions, welfare and health services he is still always after more.With his divide and conquer policy, some parts of southern England, which are much warmer then many parts of France and Spain will loose out. His temperature rule will again be illegal if it is again targeting minorities one by one. People in England wishing to drag down the income of others need to beware as they will be next. Means testing of income is out because it is not cost effective but he believes that means testing by temperature will be worth it by saving this £3 a week after tax for a small minority of ex-pats. The group of ex-pats who often worked hard, paid their dues and may have retired early through ill health. Ex-pats who often still pay UK taxes but do not get the free bus passes, prescriptions, NHS, eye tests, pension credits, housing benefits etc. Ex-pats who made the difficult choice to leave their families and friends to survive and to escaped the heat or eat dilemma in rip off UK to go to places where they may live in to old age with respect and security. People in my little village usually bye logs for heating and spend far more money than this means testing mean little man is so fixated on. We have no weather station so I expect one of his huge new army of inspectors to visit to investigate my claim, thermometer in hand. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


What a :Good post:therowfamily - in addition to your comments may I say, the UK pay the 4th worst pensions in all of Europe. We have all paid our taxes over the years and many of us continue to do so, UK pensioners are also expect to subsidise the rest of the benefits system which has it's full share of benefit cheats and people who just syphon the system and not work. Many of us have become Expats because the cost living in the UK would only enable us to only exist and not have any pleasures in life.

c
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speedgunner
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:59 am

I turned 60 years old last January (20011) and just before I moved out here which was September 2011 and applied for the Winter fuel allowance as I thought I would qualify. I made the appropriate enquiries and was told that I wouldn't qualify as I was moving out before November 2011?????? So my question was will I ever qualify and I was told no because of that reason!!!!That can't be fair as I have paid my taxes for 45 years and because I moved out before e November I am not entitled to this allowance.
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tonyb60
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:16 am

speedgunner wrote:
I turned 60 years old last January (20011) and just before I moved out here which was September 2011 and applied for the Winter fuel allowance as I thought I would qualify. I made the appropriate enquiries and was told that I wouldn't qualify as I was moving out before November 2011?????? So my question was will I ever qualify and I was told no because of that reason!!!!That can't be fair as I have paid my taxes for 45 years and because I moved out before e November I am not entitled to this allowance.

Your not alone. We got 1 payment and then we had to pay it back

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bigsavak
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:08 pm

Typical of politicians. People pay taxes into this economy all their working lives, and if they decide to live somewhere with low crime rates, and a bit of sun when they retire, they're treated like pariahs. Meanwhile we have freeloaders arriving every day from all corners of the world, holding out their hands and taking everything they can, and sending most of it back to their homeland through money exchange houses, and the government of the out-of-touch does nothing to stop the serial rip-off . There are serially unemployed people who have made a career out of not working, who can claim whatever they want, and will 'retire' at the end of their waste-of-space life and get a full pension and all the other freebies. These people spend their lives drinking, taking drugs and being anti-social, and yet are treated better than someone who has paid taxes all their working life. Totally idiotic system, benefiting the lazy.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:51 pm

IDS seems to be trying to reduce benefits to which I have no objection for the thousands of scroungers helping bankrupt the UK. Those of us living in warmer countries should NOT get the winter fuel allowance, lets be fair.Elderly people in general whether they live in hot climates or not? feel the cold much more than younger members of society because of their age. These people have left their own shores in search of warmer climates in many instances not only because of their health but generally because they can no longer feel "
at home"
and manage financially.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:22 am

I would not class Bulgaria as a warmer country in the Winter unlike SpaIn, for those who spend the Winter in the UK I don't blame you having spent last Winter here.Here in Bulgaria the Winter fuel allowance is required without a doubt and if any think not then you must have missed last Winter.As for IDS trying to cut the benifits bill he is on a fools errand as it is the likes of him and previous goverments who set up the system in the first place and have made it so complicated even they don't understand it!
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:36 am

Big Savak mentions "
serially unemployed people"
and indicates the idle spongers but they're not the only ones. The mind boggles when you consider the burden on taxpayers from our "
professional students"
who spend a lifetime enjoying Higher Education on the nebulous promise that sooner or later they are going to pay back some of the debts. I had one next door to me, with three children by three different fathers. Housing, heating, household bills and all expenses paid, including child-minding so she could study. She needed a computer for her research so was provided with a brand new high spec laptop and printer. Always on the borrow because she spent each University Grant payment as soon as it came in on a new car or holiday and then had 'nothing to live on' and came knocking on our door. For pensioners to suffer cold and hardship while people like this sit comfortably studying topics they enjoy in warm university surroundings is ridiculous. Some of those pensioners would probably have loved to study further at some stage of their lives and gain qualifications to improve their lot - but when you are in work you can't have a grant towards the cost of studying, which mostly puts it out of reach. I'm all for higher education being made available, but for people who haven't worked, perhaps they should be required to find employment for an equivalent period in between each course before they can qualify again. The cost of university education puts it out of reach for many who undoubtedly deserve it but didn't qualify because they've always worked, maybe universities should be obliged to provide library access and warm comfortable study rooms for pensioners who were denied the chance throughout their working life. At least their home heating costs could then be channeled to just the time spent at home.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:32 am

fruitlover wrote:
Big Savak mentions "
serially unemployed people"
and indicates the idle spongers but they're not the only ones. The mind boggles when you consider the burden on taxpayers from our "
professional students"
who spend a lifetime enjoying Higher Education on the nebulous promise that sooner or later they are going to pay back some of the debts. I had one next door to me, with three children by three different fathers. Housing, heating, household bills and all expenses paid, including child-minding so she could study. She needed a computer for her research so was provided with a brand new high spec laptop and printer. Always on the borrow because she spent each University Grant payment as soon as it came in on a new car or holiday and then had 'nothing to live on' and came knocking on our door. For pensioners to suffer cold and hardship while people like this sit comfortably studying topics they enjoy in warm university surroundings is ridiculous. Some of those pensioners would probably have loved to study further at some stage of their lives and gain qualifications to improve their lot - but when you are in work you can't have a grant towards the cost of studying, which mostly puts it out of reach. I'm all for higher education being made available, but for people who haven't worked, perhaps they should be required to find employment for an equivalent period in between each course before they can qualify again. The cost of university education puts it out of reach for many who undoubtedly deserve it but didn't qualify because they've always worked, maybe universities should be obliged to provide library access and warm comfortable study rooms for pensioners who were denied the chance throughout their working life. At least their home heating costs could then be channeled to just the time spent at home.

The topic title is about Fuel Allowance and I feel that we have strayed a little away from the topic, but I must agree with all that is being said. I would normally say :OffTopic:but on this occasion I must say .and I must join in with the additions by saying that we had neighbors that were not only registered disabled (but he only got in the wheelchair when the inspectors came round) but was also an un-paid 'Pastor' hence our expression 'Pennies from Heaven'. Plus the cant work wont work brigade. We paid all our taxes and stamp money but because we choose to live abroad we get nothing back. But the slant to this is we still pay UK income tax, and yes that is on our pensions. I paid into my pension schemes for over 40 years in order to get a comfortable life in retirement only to find that I am still subsidizing people that get paid benefits which I am told that I cannot get because I can no longer live in a Country that is so stupid that it gives money away to those that don't need or want it. It pays out money to any Tom Dick or Harry that turns up in our land and then conveniently losses their passport. Because of this they cannot be deported so they get housing etc etc. Then there are those that want to blow us all up, opps forgot Human rights so they can stay and give them more money. I ask was it worth the hardship when we were younger

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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:37 am

Is the gutless bunch of timeservers who call themselves the UK government capable of standing up to the EU ruling? I doubt it Of course, if you have emigrated to Norway you'll need the winter fuel payment. Should you have decided on Greece however, you almost certainly won't.
SO, is a temperature test necessary? of course it isn't. You can't discriminate against someone simply because of where they live. You either give everyone the payment, or you give it to no one. The situation is reminiscent of the frozen pension scandal. Over one half million British pensioners are struggling to survive on a pension which is frozen at the amount that they first received, or which they were recieving when first they left "
Old Blight's Shores"
Freezing is based entirely upon where they decided to spend their retirement years. This is also discrimination, and we must do everything in our power to make the UK government realize this. Frozen pension. Witholding allowances for fuel costs. Where will it End?
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LisA
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:59 am

This is complete nonsense. If you've paid for it, through contributions all your working life, you should be entitled to it. I note the article quotes AVERAGE temperatures in France and Spain but villages in the mountains in Mallorca regularly have snow in winter. It also gets very cold in Kos in winter (I can only speak about these two because I've only visited them in winter). I did visit Mojacar on the South East coast of Spain for a week in February this year and, although it was lovely spring-like weather during the day, it was bitterly cold at night. And does IDS think that the likes of Spain and France is the only countries that we Brits move to.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:02 am

If you paid all your taxes and apply for the WFA before going overseas you continue to get it overseas. If you paid all your taxes and apply for the WFA after going overseas you don't get it overseas. That is the silly rule that the EU have said needs changing. If IDS wants to impose a temperature rule, what would be the cost to administer that? Is he assuming it does not get really cold (or really hot) in other EU countries?
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