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.

  lotvic 18:18 05 Jan 2013

Cheques/BACS may be sent to me..

  spuds 18:21 05 Jan 2013

I notice that there as been mention of means testing and also an increase on Saga holidays, but as anyone thought deeper into this?.

Perhaps some of the more wealthy, might consider spending some of their ill gotten gains on themselves, before letting the government decide on how their nest egg should be spent?.

Regarding means testing, the government did an exercise about six years ago, which lasted for about four years. Pensioner's were receiving an annual letter informing them that the government had surplus unclaimed funds available, that people were not claiming, and it was their 'rights' to do so. The only problem was that it all became a catch 22 situation, because many people were unable to actually claim, because they were slightly over the 'wealth or poverty' line in the reckoning. It took the government four years to realise the administration costs were outweighing any funds being actually paid out. So somewhere, there are still surplus unclaimed money about?.

Pension credits have also been mentioned. I know of one person who gets a pension plus pays no council tax, yet still complains that they do not get enough from the state. That person left school, got married, produced two children, became a full time mother and housewife, and as never took up full time employment throughout her life. Do I feel annoyed about that, yes I do, because I have paid all my dues throughout my life, and I feel as though I am still reaping far less than I paid, yet others have paid nothing?.

Winter fuel allowance, plus the £10 Christmas bonus as been a godsend for some, and lets hope it remains so. Those that do not want it have the choice of refusal or giving it away to their chosen charity perhaps?.

  bumpkin 19:17 05 Jan 2013

Spider9, I did not ask for anything back it was offered. To use your analogy if your car insurer offered you a refund or discount would you refuse it? I agree with you on the NHS issue, the less I need to use it the happier I am however much I have paid in.

  lotvic 22:32 05 Jan 2013

fourm member, your post Today at 6:51PM. I watched the vid as you seem unable/unwilling to point me directly to the text source of your info in the numerous documents on your link. I did not find it particularly useful and thought it a rather rushed presentation.

However I delved into the .pdfs and found figures for fuel poverty that I will quote from:

"A related concept is that of 'fuel poverty'. Households are considered to be in fuel poverty if they have to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory level of heating (21 degrees Celsius for the main living area and 18 degrees Celsius for other occupied rooms). A report published in 2009 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change estimated that the number of households in fuel poverty in England rose from 1.2 million (6 per cent) in 2003 to 2.8 million (13 per cent) in 2007. The type of household most affected by fuel poverty was that of single people aged 60 or over. In 2007, over 30 per cent of households of single people aged 60 or over in England (1.0 million) were in fuel poverty (Figure 13.19). "

I wonder if that figure has gone up or down since 2007.

  lotvic 01:26 06 Jan 2013

My comment was (and still is) "I wonder if that figure has gone up or down since 2007"

  spuds 13:08 06 Jan 2013

spider9 - "You say she 'as' never worked -what's wrong with that? Is it a requirement that all women go out to work, even if their husband's income is sufficient for the family?".

I suppose there is nothing wrong, providing the husband's income is sufficient, and in this particular case, they got divorced while the children were still fairly young, and the husband's income was insufficient, and it was better for her to rely on the State up to the present day.

But back to the 'insurance' subject, is very like having 'paid-up' insurance for a motor vehicle or life policy. You have to pay in it to expect to reap the benefits from it at times of need. And this is were the crunch begins, as to what payments have been made into a scheme and who is benefiting. I left school on a Friday and was due to start work on the following Monday, but due to other circumstances I began employment into a different trade a week later. Throughout that time I have always paid my dues (including possible higher rate taxation), the many years I was never in the UK long-term.

If taking the figures mentioned by lotvic, then my State pension is less (pro-rata) than the figures mentioned, and that include additional Serp payments I made being added. Fortunately I took other preventive measures to help safeguard my living standards in retirement, but even that as had its shortfalls, and subject to further legal advice, which I have had to pay extra for.

Yet we still hear about "winter fuel allowance 'should' be scrapped", and other similar remarks like pensioner's already get enough, and if they don't, then means test them. So perhaps I should ask for a simple answer as to why, when some of us have already made our donations at various levels over the years?.

  Bing.alau 16:52 06 Jan 2013

Because I am one of the people who paid in to the system since leaving school at the age of fourteen (a bigger percentage then as well). Also because I worked and paid until I was sixty five, a spell of fifty one years compared to what people seem to be saying on here of a working life of forty four years. I therefore think I should get a bigger pension than I do in relation to others.

some of those years were spent in HM forces serving abroad for more than two years at a time. Civilian workers working abroad were exempt from paying taxes if they were abroad in excess of a period of time which I think was six months. I was not exempt. Why I do not know.

University students don't start work until they are well in to their twenties, if then. Do they have to make up a shortfall of their contributions in stamps and taxes? If not why not? I also think they should then have to work for a minimum of fifty years before getting their pension.

I feel no regret about drawing the winter fuel allowance or any other tit-bit that comes my way. I remember Major General Montgomery being criticised for drawing his old age pension way back and while I can't remember his exact words about it. He gave his critics short shrift because he had worked hard to qualify for his position, and paid toward it all his life and was entitled to it. I was on his side then and I still am. Why should you be deprived of something which you have worked hard for and which is yours anyway? There's always somebody better off than what you are. No matter how much you have got.

What I get I worked hard for and am entitled to, it is more than I need at the moment, but will it be so in the future? Besides I can pass on what I don't need to my offspring, they no doubt will not relish paying the tax on it either.

  Bing.alau 19:12 06 Jan 2013

spider9. I am under the impression that fuel allowance is only paid to pensioners. Now I am wondering why 60 year olds get it?

Also with respect, I think "onthelimit1" only got what he asked for. We in Liverpool are fed up to the teeth with the same old, same old, all the time. There is no justification for it. However as a really nice guy from Liverpool, I am more than willing to accept an apology.

  N47. 19:23 06 Jan 2013


"I am under the impression that fuel allowance is only paid to pensioners"

Untill last year it was paid to anyone over the age of 60, male or female. Just like a bus pass was issued to any one over 60. The age it will be paid will now gradually creep up year on year as will the basic state pension and bus passes.

So you could have an executive still in work, who conceivably has children under the age of 19 earning over £60,000 pa. They would loose the child benefit but gain the heating allowance.

  lotvic 20:55 06 Jan 2013

I don't have an answer/suggestion for changing the Winter Fuel Payment, but I can see that it is not fair 'either which way' depending on which income group a person is in.

What does matter I think is that the way it is worked out will have to be changed as pensions have not kept up with the rise in prices for fuel so a greater percent of income is now needed to pay those bills. Working on my previous info on how Gov calculate it (10% or more of income spent = fuel poverty) that would mean that a single person 60 or over would need £270 per week income (annual dual fuel cost average is about £1400) just to keep at the 10% mark.

It's obvious (to me) that means-testing with the present guidelines isn't going to work either. I also wonder why it only takes UK occupancy for a specific week in September for a person to qualify. I don't agree with those who live abroad for the rest of the time to be paid it.

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