winter fuel allowance should be scrapped

  N47. 19:41 03 Jan 2013

for the majority and just given to those who claim pension credit ie the poorest of pensioners.

If the working well paid can loose their child benefit if one of them earns over £60,000 why can't those pensioners who do not really need it, have it.

  mole1944 04:22 04 Jan 2013

As a 68 year old who has paid since 16 all his taxes etal,i have a contract with the government and that includes winter fuel allowance. I still pay taxes on a modest company pension and as my wife has dementia i do a 16/17 hour day 24/7/365 with NO pay,so you see i think i deserve fuel allowance to help us,all us carers save this company billions, if i were to put my wife into care it would cost the government £650+ a week £33,800 a year this puts our £200 a year into perspective doesn't it.Means testing cost more to administer than it saves, a better suggestion is to stop all overseas aid there must be billions wasted.

  BT 09:06 04 Jan 2013


I am in a similar situation to you. I'm the same age and my wife has a heart problem and had a slight stroke about 5 years ago. I have Diabetes and suffer from Sciatica which means I can't stand for more than about 10 mins, even with pain killers, which seriously restricts what I can do, and how long it takes me. I usually have to do things like washing up in a couple of hits with a sit down in the middle. I have a company pension on which I pay tax and get no extras from the Government. I get the Dependent Relatives allowance for my wife (Taxable) as she is 9 years younger than me, but this is no longer available to new pension claimants, so anyone in a similar situation to us retiring now only gets the basic State Pension, a difference of £57 a week, so for these people the £200 fuel allowance is probably very welcome. I can't say I NEED it but it enables me to keep the house warm without worrying about the cost.

  carver 09:15 04 Jan 2013

Why should it be means tested, if you do not consider yourself eligible or not in need of it do not claim it.

If you restrict it to certain people on benefits then all you are doing is proving that you get more out of the system if you just rely on the system for every thing.

Why should Bob who decided that working is a mugs game 30 years ago now get a hand out every winter when the old lady who worked until she had to stop but has her own house, paid for from her work now finds that because she has assets of more than £50000 (mainly her house) she can't claim.

The mentality of some people in this country is alarming, you work all your life and you get attacked if you want to claim the same as some one who has never paid any tax in their life, but these same people also like to have a go at the welfare "scrounger" as they call them.

A few months ago some one was going on about free bus passes and how you shouldn't have one if you could afford to pay, but why should I not claim when I pay full council tax, get no other benefit and Joe Blogs who hasn't bothered saving gets every thing free.

  Quickbeam 09:28 04 Jan 2013

Well said carver.

Those that can afford, should retain the right to claim, on account that they have paid for and are providing for the lazy and financially inept to be able to get anything at all.

The rewards for a life time of personal financial competence should not be a painful kick in the... well a hard slap on the face.

  Quickbeam 10:59 04 Jan 2013


You know where we're generally coming from, it's the persistent assumption by government that those that have been frugal in life, are the ones that should quite happily fund life's cadgers without complaint.

  LastChip 12:30 04 Jan 2013

This country has one of the worst state pensions in Europe.

The couple of hundred a year winter fuel allowance is peanuts, when so much more is wasted elsewhere.

There are many totally reliant on that to have a little warmth. Leave them alone.

Since the utilities were privatised, far from becoming competitive, it's proven to be a national disgrace at the way we're being fleased for energy costs. There is some justification I suppose, as we're now paying the price for years of underinvestment while under government control. But I still wonder if we really do need constant above inflation price increases, particularly when wholesale prices fall!

Concentrate on getting rid of the few hundred useless, toothless quangos like OFGEM for starters. That should save a few million a year.

  Bing.alau 13:27 04 Jan 2013

I think the younger element forget that they too will grow old. I worked from the age of fourteen and paid a bigger percentage of my then wage than people do now. I remember a politician telling me I had never had it so good. Funnily enough he was right at the time because I had just had a pay increase in the forces. (which they gave with one hand and took back with the other). However I was satisfied with my lot, because in the forces you tend not to meet the layabouts that are abundant in civvie street.

Leaving the forces is a shock as you then start to meet civilians. what a letdown!

I still worked hard and saved my pennies until eventually I managed to buy my own house. Since then I have needed for nothing because once I bought my place the outgoings dropped and I started seeing my nest egg building up. I can certainly manage without the £300 but my attitude now is "Why should I?" I think I deserve it and I use it for what it was meant for, to help heat my abode throughout the cold months. These old bones feel the cold now more than they used to, and as I get older no doubt it will get worse.

So if I were you youngsters I wouldn't grow any older. It hurts.

  Forum Editor 14:32 04 Jan 2013

To many who receive the winter fuel allowance it comes as a welcome bit of help with fuel costs. To many others it's a useful little windfall. That's something that society has to accept; the alternative is to means-test the payment in some way, and any talk of means-testing pensioners always provokes an uproar.

  Forum Editor 14:36 04 Jan 2013


"the persistent assumption by government that those that have been frugal in life, are the ones that should quite happily fund life's cadgers without complaint."

Can you explain how you think that governments have made the 'persistent assumption'?

How are frugal people funding life's cadgers, and how would you propose to stop it, and still run a welfare state?

  carver 16:37 04 Jan 2013

fourm member you do know that Saga is for the over FIFTIES that is over 50 years of age, not pensioners but people who are over fifty.

So what has that got to do with the current thread about pensioners who claim winter fuel allowance, one other point you got wrong, if you do not claim the winter fuel allowance you do not have to receive it, I can verify that because this is the first year I have been asked to claim it.

I phoned them up and was told if I did not want to receive the money I was told to return the form with not required written on it, so if you do not want to have the money just phone them and tell them to keep it.

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