Winter fuel allowance to be scrapped for expats in Spain

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Photo: Images Money (flickr)

UK pensioners living in Spain are to finally lose their winter fuel allowance following lengthy debate, argument and speculation.

Ministers in Britain plan to introduce a new ‘temperature test’ to determine which expat pensioners living abroad are entitled to the allowance, with Spain falling outside the proposed criteria. The British government is to stop payments to those living in countries where the temperature is above the average annual winter temperature of the warmest part of the UK (the southwest at 5.2 degrees Celsius). As a result, expats living in sunny Spain will lose their allowance of between £200-300 (€255-380) per year.

From September 2015, UK expats in Spain will no longer receive the £8.7 million (€11.1 million) paid out in winter fuel allowances. Spain is the country that receives the most in winter fuel allowance payments. Other expats to lose out are those living in Cyprus, Portugal, Greece, Malta and France.

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Official guidelines of the winter fuel allowance state it is “to help pay your heating bills” and is designed as a payment for pensioners to put towards home heating costs during the winter months. The decision to scrap the allowance will affect around 50,000 British pensioners living in Spain.

“Winter fuel payments exist to help Britain’s pensioners keep themselves warm,” Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the MailOnline. “It’s absurd and offensive that taxpayers are funding these payments for people who have retired to the Mediterranean and enjoy warm weather. The European Union has frustrated our attempts to address this issue in the past, but with our new temperature-based eligibility criteria we’re able to satisfy EU rules as well as prevent this obscene waste of taxpayers’ money.”

The average temperature in December and January in Spain is 13 degrees Celsius, more than double the average of that in the UK. As a result of the new measures the British government stands to save around £16.5 million (€21 million) a year.


86 COMMENTS

  1. About damn time! It annoys me to see UK civilians taking this money while living in Spain.
    There are old people in Britain who have to choose between heating and food and this money rightly belongs to them. Not the scroungers living in Spain all winter.

  2. so they can save 16/5 million ,what for to send to other countries ,our WFA has been spent on oil already and come the new year we will spend another £400 on more oil ,and so cold kills ,also does heat , if even only halve of the pensioners here sold up and returned ,WOW hat an extra bill that would be ,and perhaps they should vote on stopping any millionare pensioner from getting the WFA
    Charles aged 84

  3. We live in southern Spain 8 kilometers West of Coin and most mornings in the winter the temperature is 3 degrees sometimes lower. Electricity for using fires and wood is very expensive so we do need our WFA to help. We have paid in to the English system all our working life we expect something in return. It seems to us more money is payed on immigrants and some of the people on the dole who have not contributed anything.

  4. I live in Almeria, Spain. It is okay stating average temperatures, but our water supply has been frozen for the last 3 days and we have to wait until noon before it thaws out. The night time temperature is around -2C. I think we need extra heating. Day time temperature could be an average of 13C but not if you include the hours of 8pm until 8am.

  5. The comments by R:Peters beggars belief. A UK pensioner living in Spain is hardly a scrounger.I am a pensioner living on Spain and I am only there because I worked hard all my working life and paid national insurance and tax in large quantities all those years.Its OK paying out hundreds of millions of pounds for any immigrant who wishes to claim and also la small percentage of lazy brits who have never worked and milk the welfare system to the maximum.The money Mr Peters belongs to anyone who has paid into the system not just people who choose to live in the UK.The government just give a damn about its own hard working people.I would like to invite Mr Duncan Smith to spend two months in winter in Alicante and to use no heating at night and see how he gets on

  6. It is obvious that R. Peters has never lived in Spain during the winter months. The nights are extremely cold. The houses here are built for the summer heat, not to withstand the winter freezing temperatures………………

  7. Winter fuel allowance
    I think the answer to the government stopping fuel payments to UK residents in Spain is the wrong way to save money.
    If they put up the age of entitlement to say 67 or 70 it would come more in line with the retirement age the government
    are expecting people to be when they retire.
    This surely would save more money than picking on expats who all their working lives paid tax and should not be
    penalised because they live in Spain.

  8. When the first hint was given that the heating allowance would be stopped I wrote to the UK government email address with the following: (more or less):

    In winter I am to be found in my living room with the gas fire on. The temperature never gets above 20 degrees, unless I left it on all day which I can’t afford.
    I will be wearing a thermal vest, a t-shirt, a wool sweater, a cardigan or fleece jacket, fleece trousers, thick socks and fleece boot type slippers. In addition I often add a shawl to the mix and a blanket round my knees, as when I sit still my body heat seems to go walkabout.

    This is in the Costa Blanca which is by no means the coldest part of Spain that expats settle in. Even on my sheltered balcony it goes down to 5 degrees at times. Inland it goes down to several degrees below zero.

    My friends to whom I email in the UK know this is how it is, it only seems to be the government which doesn’t. More geography lessons needed?

  9. When I reached the age of 60, I did not realise I was entitled to Winter Fuel Payment for a few years, it apparently is not paid unless you apply for it! Is this another government way of saving money? Also when I retired and my wife reached retirement age initially she received a reduced amount being my partner, this, after a year or so was stopped and only I receive it now!
    My wife and I are both pensioners, at present still in the UK but in the process of selling up and moving permanently to Spain, I believe that the Winter Fuel Payment should be paid to Ex-pats as they undoubtedly have contributed into the system during their working lives and as Patricia Stooks of Albox, Almeria states, immigrants into the UK receive all sorts of benefits to which the British applicant more often than not is told they have made insufficient contributions so do not qualify!!
    Another point regarding pensions, having paid into personal pensions over the years, though not to any great extent, I find I am taxed on what I receive even though the monies paid into these pensions were taxed prior to me paying into the pension schemes!
    Perhaps it should be Means Tested, as I believe that Sir Alan Sugar as requested that his WFP is no longer paid to him, as he really does not need it but was told that it has to be paid to him and if he does not want it to contribute it to a charity!!

  10. I agree with your readers expats should get the winter fuel payment.
    We have worked all our lives in the UK and paid all our contributions.
    We are not using the health services or having and credits from the government.
    I live in Mallorca in the Baleares and in the winter the island goes down below in the night
    and the properties are build for the heat not the cold so it takes extra heat to keep one warm.
    So this winter fuel payment should be paid to us.

  11. the Clerk, work and Pensions Committee.

    As a 68 year old diabetic, if I was now living in England I would be entitled to, Free foot treatment, free optical treatment, all prescriptions free, Concessionary bus pass/rail pass, maybe some caring allowance, and if my savings were below certain levels maybe a pension top up, as it is I gave up all these to live in Spain.

    So far this year I have used 10 gas bottles for use in 1 portable gas fire to heat 1 room, that has already cost me 170 euros and we still have several months of cold weather to come, I have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in which I use electric radiators, as you can imagine the miserable £200. a year winter fuel payment has been well and truly spent.

    I think it is obvious that by living in Spain I am actually saving the British Government money, lets face it I spent 45 years working and paying taxes in the uk, on the very low pension received It would be almost impossible to live in the uk, it is obscene for Millionaires like Ian Smith to put forward the plan to stop the Winter Fuel Payment, if it was saving Billions I would understand but it a few Million, Really Mr Smith get a life.

  12. Having read your 2 page spread on Winter Fuel Allowance, issue 1541, it seems that many readers refer to “having previously and/or currently paying UK taxes.
    I wonder how many are aware of the UK Governments proposal restricting non-residents entitlement to the UK Personal Tax Allowance.
    If the proposal becomes law surely many people here will lose a lot more than the
    current Fuel Allowance.
    If this is so, it seems to me it might have brought more attention to the pending problem if your issue 1539 had given more prominence to the letter written by Chris Poole. Just maybe ONE LINE on the front page!!

  13. Sir/Madam,
    I write to you with rage in my heart.If the winter allowance is cut off for the Ex-pats in Spain,we pensioners here ,should take the Tory Millionaire Party to the European Court.Tory Millionaire Ian Duncan Smith should be informed(by the powers that be) that many,many of the Ex-pat Pensioners here in Spain still pay U.K TAXES.
    Will Leapy Lee represent us!!!!!
    Thank You.

  14. Sir
    It was never explained that this was not part of our state pensions. Regarding entitlement, many of us still have to pay tax to the British government. Duncan Smith States its obscene as we must be well off to live here in Spain but that is not the case. Most of us moved here because we have a cheaper life as long as we live like the Spanish and not crave English food etc., and our paltry pension stretches further here. Should we live back in England we would be entitled to many benefits, such as top-ups, housing benefit etc. What of the people who live in Britain for six months and six months in Spain they still claim their fuel allowance but can afford two homes even if one is rented but benefit from the so called warmer weather in Spain. This also leads to the fact that after living in 40deg + in summer the onset of winter with much lower temperatures feels extremely cold to us expats. You only have to walk along any street and you can tell those who live here full time as they are wrapped up in winter clothes whilst those who visit just for the winter months are in summer clothes. Yes human beings adapt well in general but it’s a slap in the face when we perceive economic and illegal immigrants benefit off our backs whilst a paltry amount to supplement our hard earned pensions is denied to us.

    REGARDS

  15. My wife and I moved to Spain from Caterham (close to London) because I was losing work to all the immigrants coming into the country. We could no longer afford to live in the UK and moved here to Spain for a better quality of live. I had become a self-employed builder after serving for 22 years in the Army and because I was receiving a very small pension from the army at the time was not entitled to any benefits. We live just outside Cantoria and while we do not get much snow we do wake up almost every day in the winter to frost. My wife suffers from bad circulation and retires to bed with two pairs of socks and a 13 tog quilt and she still wakes up with ice cold feet and is unable to sleep without a hot water bottle. I feel that as we are still UK tax payers as I now receive a military pension and a local government pension that have to be taxed in the UK. It is totally unsatisfactory that someone who has served their country in the military is not entitled to a winter fuel payment and the government can find money for family allowance for children who do not even live in the UK. I have worked since I was 14 years old and have voted conservative all the time since I was old enough to vote. I will now be voting for UKIP in the future. We can put our opinion forward by not voting conservative and I urge everyone living in Spain to place a postal vote.

  16. I am writing this E Mail to you concerning Winter Fuel Payments for Ex Pats .

    I am a retired pensioner living here in Quesada Spain and have done for over 13 years ,

    I Pay my pension to the UK government, and submit a Tax return yearly .

    After serving 15 years in the Royal Air Force and working after my discharge up to the age of 65 when due to ill health triple Heart By Pass I retired to Spain , On a recommendation from the surgeon who did my operation , and to take away my Fuel Allowance is a downright disgrace , when Immigrants can flood into the UK and get all sorts of allowances without ever contributing anything to the state .
    I suppose the next thing is the Government will want to take my Christmas bonus off me as well ,

    It does get very cold here from December through to March and i do Spend my fuel Allowance on heating which it does not fully cover the winter period , I have oil central heating .

    Not all expats over here are millionaires mostly ones that have worked and paid taxes in the UK all there working life , I would suggest that the department that Ian Duncan Smith runs looks at other ways of cutting his budget like targeting people who claim carers allowance and job seekers allowance , He would be amazed at the number who fiddle that

    IAN DUNCAN SMITH please leave my heating allowance alone ,in fact increase it ,
    I am a Conservative voter but no way this time along with several other’s who will quit

    Regards
    Brian Phillips
    EX Pat

    Thank You lorna for your reply to my E Mail . I do have an add on which i did not mention and that was I did send and E Mail to the PM at Downing street but nobody ever responded to it or acknowledge receiving it , This is a none caring government unless you are an Immigrant .
    By the way I am not a racist in anyway shape or form , I just want to be treated fairly
    Regards

  17. Well Duncan come and see what it is like for me, in the winter on the Costa Del Sol
    In winter , I wear my thermals and we have the heating on all the time and when we
    are watching the TV we have blankets on us and I also use a hot water bottle.
    I have arthritis and anyone that has it will tell you that getting cold makes the pain
    worse.
    You forget we live our lives on a different temperature scale than England.
    I worked until I was 65 and I came out here for a longer life. The summers can be
    Very hot again the electric takes a caning, In no way am I complaining about the weather,I had to prove I had enough money coming in to keep myself before I was
    Allowed to become a resident what a pity you don’t take a leaf out of Spain’s book
    then perhaps you might not have the problems, I can’ t claim for anything extra here
    The only extra I get is my fuel allowance,, perhaps you would like us all to come home
    then see what a problem we are. I will tell you what is obscene all the people getting
    payments when they don’t contribute in any way. And while we are on it it is obscene all the money sent abroad for staving and sick, what about looking after your own.
    Be careful what you start you will be old one day.

  18. Hello Sir, I live in Mallorca, yes we can have sun in the day for a while, BUT the temp drops to 0º at night and never more than 3º one can see the snow on the mountain which is ½ hr drive away. Yes we do need heating.
    England does not have a sudden drop of 15+ degrees in the space of an hour.
    With respect

  19. How dare that jumped up politician say that it is obscene to give pensioners who have decided to take advantage of the weather in Spain (after working and paying their dues for 50 plus years in UK) the money they have earned for their retirement. He should try making his way of life as we have by choosing a different country. People respect us in this country not degrade us. We came out because of health reasons and have been healthier in the sun but winter gets extremely cold here sometimes and keeping warm is essential.

  20. Dear Editor. the local papers are awash with statements from pensioners who like ourselves feel frustrated at the decision by Duncan Smith and his cronies to remove our fuel allowance, normally we shrug our shoulders and think there is nothing we can do as we don’t have any voting rights.
    However we do have an army of family and friends in the UK who over the next few months will be visiting the Ballot Box, many including our grandchildren will be for the first time.
    We have sent a email to all our contacts in the Uk and have asked them to contact their local MP,whilst many will have there own way of asking the Questions, we have suggested the following as a template letter.
    [ Dear MP I am currently considering which party to support at the General Election in May, I am having some difficulty understanding why I should support a party who has decided to withdraw a benefit to my friends/ family who are pensioners and decided to live abroad, I refer of course to the decision to remove the winter fuel allowance, when there are more obvious cases of misuse of the system,
    I would be pleased to receive you reply, ]
    If we all do this it should give cause for concern, as most MPs do have one eye on the ballot box

  21. FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE CLERK, WORK & PENSIONS COMMITTEE

    You are obviously aware of the consternation that has been shown recently in the light of Iain Duncan Smith intimating that he wants to stop these Winter payments to all those pensioners living outside the U.K. How much will be saved by this measure ? About £8-£10 million a year. How much in Social Care savings are already being made by those living outside the U.K.? About £2.3 billion. I think the expats have already given up enough, without this disastrous measure which will make it impossible for them to stay warm between November and March annually. I have paid Income Tax & National Insurance all my working life in order to be able to live adequately when it was time to retire & this penalisation of pensioners is unwarranted & unnecessary. How can it be possible for the Government to allow it to happen when so many immigrants are allowed into the U.K. that have not paid a penny into the system & yet are given family credits (some of which are then sent back to their countries of origin), housing & anything else that they can sift from the U.K. system – there is something seriously wrong with the thinking behind this unprecedented move.

    Please ask the Committee to seriously think again before they put so many expats in such a precarious position of having to decide whether to try & keep themselves warm during the winter, and if so will they have to cut down on their food consumption to achieve it – it really is that serious..

  22. Dear Sirs,
    I have been reading in your latest edition of Euro Weekly News the many letters sent to you from many of your readers who are concerned at the injustice of the UK Governments withdrawel of the Winter Fuel Allowence for Ex-Pat Pensioners living in Spain ,of which I am one. I would like to draw your attention to the existance of an EPetition to the Government about this subject and would ask you to urge as many as possible Ex-Pats to sign this, the more of us that do, there is a chance of being listened to, and a possible reverse of its decision.
    You can access this site via gov.uk or epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73368 and I would urge all Ex-Pats to do this. I read that this allowence costs them around £7.5 million in Spain, and that paying for translators in UK hospitals costs £81 million. Something I am happy to pay for, and rightly in Spain. Where is the justice in that? I will add that I have signed it and do hope many will.

    Yours sincerely

  23. Spain is a great place to live, shame so many “immigrants” moan most of the time.
    Yes we all paid tax & NI in the UK when working, some boast about how little they paid then & even now.
    Lets not forget pensions living in the UK continue to pay tax ( UK VAT) every day.
    Yes it gets cold in Spain but winter heating costs are a fraction of those in the UK & are we so poor that £100 will make a difference, think of the savings on winter coats & umbrellas.

  24. NOW IT IS IN THE OPEN REGARDING THE CUTTING OUT OF FUEL ALLOWANCE,THE PENSIONERS WHO MAYBE STRUGGLING A LITTLE AND THINKING, PERHAPS NOW IS THE TIME TO RETURN TO THE UK,IS THERE ANY OF THE READERS OUT THERE WHO KNOWS WHAT SORT OF BENEFITS ONE CAN CLAIM ON THEIR RETURN.
    I WILL BE STAYING BUT IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO FIND OUT IN THE MEANTIME I HAVE TO ORDER SOME MORE LOGS.

  25. Hi there
    Interesting articles letters etc. in this weeks Euro Weekly. I have emailed my comments to The Clerk Work and Pensions with my objections to non payment of above. I have been wanting to get it of my chest for sometime, and have told them what my thoughts are in no short terms.
    I am 82 years old, and find, like most of us living in Spain, Winter here is very very cold, More so inside than out. I wear thermal woollen shirts 2 pullovers and a hat when sitting in at night, and still feel the cold, even with what heat I can afford to keep on. Energy prices here are highest in Europe apart from Germany, and every little monies we get, or used to get, helps a lot. The troble is we are all living longer and maybe this is a way of Government trying to kill us of earlier. Perhaps we should all go back to UK and live on the system. At least we’ve paid our taxes etc over a lifetime. As one commedian used to say, Bring it on.
    Trying to fight this on ones own is a no go, but with everyone pushing for a change to this outrage, maybe we can still keep warm in the future.
    Thanks for a great article and brilliant Euro Weekly, my favourite newspaper. Cheers

  26. How dare Phil Langley from PLC Inter-Communications suggest that pensioners who worked until they reached retirement age are supported by the UK Government! This comment is an insult to the people who worked long and hard to enjoy their retirement. When I received my pension at the age of 60 I had to be a resident in the UK in the September following my birthday in order to qualify for the allowance. That proviso changed a few years ago to encompass all pensioners whether or not they were in the UK on reaching pensionable age. I wonder if this was instrumental in the decision to withdraw the allowance? Alot of ex pats still pay taxes in the UK so why should we be deprived of something for which we have paid for over the years. We do not call on the UK for benefits, free bus passes etc. And other hand outs. I can only assume that Mr Langley is either very rich and has never had to worry about paying his bills, or very ignorant. Presumably not at the age to receive his pension or he would not be so judgemental. I hope alot of people write to the Works & Pensions Committee to register their objections as per your advice.

  27. We haveread the letters in your paper. Our opinion is that we should stiill get our Heating Allowance.
    Look at to day Sunday wet and cold and it says on Tuesday at night it is going down to 1c. This is the
    Costa del Sol. The houses and apartments are not built for cold weather. When you think how hot it
    gets in the Summer it is no wonder we all feel the cold. It does not get as hot in the UK. All so taking
    away our Heating Allowance and as it is we are the lowest paid pensions in Europe..All so we have
    paid all our dues during our working lives in the UK so why are we being penalised..

  28. Re expats in Spain

    Having paid into the UK tax system all of our working lives, we now find , in our retiement, we are to be excluded from U.K. benefits (will our pensions be next?).
    Unlike, it would seam those in the U.K. today who have never contributed one penny and legally milk the system bigtime.

  29. If Pensioners received a decent Pension in line with the rest of Europe, there would be no need for a WFA.
    £4 a week isn’t too much to expect, but no, let’s give £250M a week in Foreign Aid, …. let’s pay out £millions in drugs to satisfy addicts in prison,…. let’s pay feckless people who spit-out 15 kids and get a ridiculous amount of Child Benefit and every other Benefit they can swindle,….let Polish workers send Child Benefit to their kids IN Poland,… let’s pay fat people Benefits because they won’t/can’t work, and let’s all feel better knowing that after MPs have had their share of cheap booze and food, they can work it off in their new improved Gym, it only cost over a £million. Then they can call a free taxi to their £million pound expenses fiddled home.
    I’m so glad I worked hard for 40 years knowing i’d retire on a life changing £16 a day.

  30. Feeling very disappointed to learn that we as pensioners living in Spain will no longer receive a heating allowance. Since moving here in 2004 the winters have become colder and colder dropping to -2 degrees at times. Does the British government not consider that to be cold.
    My husband who will be eighty this year and I worked and paid our dues for ninety years between us. We asked for nothing from the government during those working years and yet foreigners who enter the U.K. are housed given benefits and jobs.
    Yes we choose to live in Spain as a warmer climate and good diet were beneficial to our health. We ask nothing from the Spanish government, however we do feel we are entitled to something given to pensioners by the British government that we have contributed to for a great many years.
    Let us hope that they reconsider their decision and do not end up here with the same situation as in England where struggling pensioners here in Spain ( and yes there are many ) end up suffering ill health due to lack of being able to keep warm.

  31. Dear Sir

    In regard to the “argument” surrounding the above I would like to add these other facts to it.

    1) Will IDS also include in his exclusions those Expats who live here permanently but are lucky enough to own a property in the UK , but who rent out their UK property? I know plenty of these people, unfortunately I am not one of them. Not only do they receive additional income in the form of rent, but their 200.00 goes into their pocket not the renter!!

    2) Also what about the people who are not resident in Spain, but own a property and spend the winter months here. Are they also to be included in the exclusion?

    Our heating bills come to a minimum of 500 euros each winter, I have friends and family who live in semi attached houses n the UK who pay far less.

    So, If Mr Cameron wants to lose over a million votes this year, he’s going about it the right way.

    IDS was an idiot as leader, and still remain one, he just has even more money now..

    May I request that if printed you also request all expats to remember to cast their vote in the elections, there is more at stake than just this allowance. Think also of your health care??

  32. My comments on the withdrawal of these payments

    1 It discriminates against certain groups of British Citizen pensioners residing in certain States of the EU, some of whom are already in financial difficulties.

    2. This SI almost certainly contravenes the UK treaty agreement with the EU on social security co-ordination.

    3 Was this so-called “temperature test” carried out at higher altitudes – there are many mountain ranges in France and Spain where the temperature is much cooler than on the coastal plain. Many ex-pats live inland where frosts and even snow is common. Madrid is the highest altitude capital in Europe.

    4 The Minister says that this payment is a waste of money but what about the millions of pounds the taxpayer pays out to foreigners in the form of pensions, who have contributed absolutely nothing to the UK economy, – is he going to withdraw those payments too ? (Currently £140 million per year)

    5 This same group of UK pensioners will be discriminated against when the new universal pension rate comes into force. We will not be included in the new rate of approximately £150pw but still languishing on the current rate of £113pw. How fair is that ?

    6 At the same time is the Minister going to withdraw all child benefit payments for children who have never set foot on British soil? The cost of living in the eastern block countries of Europe is far lower than the UK so these payments for each child is way over the top. Is it just us old UK citizens who are the soft target

  33. We too agree with other readers’ comments re the above. We too have paíd all our taxes and, therefore We feel that the Allowance is a right not a handout!

    Duncan Smith’s remarks re ‘an obscene was te of money’ is an insult. He and his associates have not even had the courtesy to consult us in this matter.

  34. Hola
    Its ok to give benifits to those that bang out babies , to children that dont live in the u.k to those that stuff them selfes till to fat to work , to those that drink themselfes silly, to those that choise to take drugs people that have payed their way all their lifes and move with in the e.u that are easy pickings they jump on dont sound like we are all in it together

  35. Dear Editor

    I am extremely annoyed and concerned about the cancellation of the winter fuel allowance for Expats. The UK Government has used some dubious calculations to penalise expats over this and it can only cause greater concern about how we will be treated should the UK vote to leave the EU. There has been a website set up to register your objection to this bill and this is http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73368 and I would suggest that your readers sign this petition to try to have this policy overturned.

    Regards

  36. My wife and I are in the fortunate position of not having to rely on the winter fuel allowance. We live in a village not far from Mojacar so not up in the mountains but it still gets very cold in winter. I believe that depriving us of our entitlement to the fuel allowance is totally wrong. My wife and I both worker in England for 43 years a combined total of 86 years contributions paid into the government coffers, I hate to think what this would amount to. Neither my wife or myself have ever taken anything out of the system in England and now we live in Spain we won’t be taking anything in the future. The amount the government is saving by taking this off us is so small in comparison to all the other problems they have why don’t they leave us alone and get on with more important things, is it because we are an easy target and we will take it lying down? I suspect so. Give us our money back.

  37. Dear Ed
    This is the first time I have ever wrote to a news paper or anything else.
    The two main things that have wound me up are George Osborne’s temperature test he did not just look at Spain ,he somehow included all of the Canary Isles which are virtually tropical .So how can he include their temperatures? As tonight the temperature is 2*c in Busot . The other is that the rich Tory Iain Duncan Smith says I’m a waste of taxpayers money when I pay his over inflated wage .One other thing,as for Phil Langley(issue No 1541 ) only a high paid director would have the front to say something like that

  38. ENERGY SCHOOL.
    Picture a small school on the Costas. The class comprises the six journalists who wrote comments without thought or logic in the EWN.
    Teacher: In front of you is a July to June calendar. With your Green pen mark the approximate dates when it was necessary to keep your heating on and off here on the Costas. Now with the Red pen mark the dates when your family in the UK had to switch theirs on and off.
    Now, Cassandra, is there a difference between the two in terms of time?
    Good Girl, that’s right, your family needed heating approximately twice as long.
    Teacher: Now Pupils, I want you to study the difference in the number of companies offering Double Glazing or Insulation products between here and UK. You will be able to do this by studying TV advertising and the press offers etc.Next week I would like you to tell us why the hysteria over the ‘Allowance’ should give enough heat to replace the loss.
    Class dismissed.
    Yours, cold but cheerful,

  39. Regarding Iain Duncan Smith´s proposal to stop ex-pat´s winter fuel allowance I thought it may be prudent to do a night time temperature comparison between my village and London. Here are the results from the relevant weather forecasting services.

    London:
    Friday 16th Jan 2015: 0 degrees; Sat. plus 1 degree; Sun. minus 1; Mon minus 1; Tues minus 1; Wed plus 1 degree.

    Torre Del Rico, Murcia, Spain:
    Friday 16th Jan 2015: plus 1 degree; Sat. 0 degrees; Sun. minus 1; Mon. plus 2; Tues. minus 2; Wed. plus 1 degree.

    The 6 day mean average temperatures for the two areas are so close that I would suggest that the Government could follow either of two courses to show fairness to everyone.

    1) Continue to pay my Winter fuel allowance (as I paid into the system for more than 48 years and receive only my state pension ) or;
    2) Stop my allowance and the allowances of everyone in London!

    What´s the chance of either happening?

    I make no other claims for pension credit, rent allowance, disability, nor do I put a strain on hospital or ambulance services unlike many people living in the U.K. who have never contributed.

    Like many ex-pats, I came to Spain because on my pension and with a dependant wife, I would not be able to afford to live in England.

    Perhaps if M.P.s came to inland Spain during the winter months they would have a different view of weather conditions.

    With blue fingers I will sign off and go and order another 2 tonnes of firewood (making 8 tonnes in total) which hopefully will last until the warmer weather comes.

  40. Dear sirs

    I posted a very tough letter to David Cameron with copy to Iain Duncan Smith on 13th January. I have invited them to my home for breakfast and dinner. I pointed out I had heating system installed last year.
    I have told them I await mutually convenient date for invitation extended

  41. I think it is disgusting that the UK Government have decided to axe the Winter Fuel Allowance to expat pensioners.
    Yes it was my choice to live in Spain once I retired, but I still pay UK taxes on my pensions, and have paid National Insurance contributions all my working life. The WFA is a tax payers entitlement not a State handout. When us expats decided to move to another European Country, we were aware claiming any benefits was a non starter. All us British tax payers hear about, is immigrants who have not contributed a cent to the UK economy, claiming for all kinds of benefits, even for their offsprings still living in another Country. How dare MP´s such as Ian Duncan Smith quote its a waste of Taxpayers money. I suggest The Works & Pensions Committee check the weather forecasts for Spain, they will then be aware of how cold it is early mornings and late afternoons. In Spain, electricity and wood for log fires is expensive.
    A winter load of logs will cost you more than the allowance pensioners receive from the UK Government. I wonder how many UK citizens are claiming sickness benefits while residing in a different Country? Its about time the UK Government began supporting its own citizens, rather than rewarding foreign Countries with OUR money.

    I shall certainly be sending an objection to the Work & Pensions Committee demanding this decision is annulled.

  42. We have had the removal of the initial £50 winter fuel allowance back when Gas & Electricity was rising at a alarming rate.
    Then we had the so called Bedroom Tax.
    Then we had personal allowances frozen probably as a direct result of the Government mis-calculating the rate of inflation and having to pay Pensioners a 5.3% increase in the old age pension.
    Now we have the removal of the Winter fuel allowance.
    Can things get worse oh yes they are now considering removal of personal allowances now that would make a considerable difference of possibly £4000 per couple.
    Then should Government take the UK out of Europe then goodness knows what implications that could bring to expats.

  43. Dear Sylvia,
    I have lived here for almost ten years, and yes, it does get cold, but many of these people can afford a house in U.K. and one in Spain so they should have money enough without this allowance.

  44. I agree 100% with your remarks about immigrants and scroungers Geoff, because it is about time the government got tough with these people, but with the situation as it is it is not fair that people staying in Spain for the winter should take precedence over the old who are literally dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes in winter.
    Many people coming here for the winter have a house here and one in the UK so they should be able to afford to heat their homes without this money which can then go to the more needy.

  45. I noticed an article about winter fuel payments in last week’s issue – but I don’t think I saw this petition. It might be an idea? It was 1 degree here when we got up this morning . . . the English in England just don’t realize that most Spanish houses are not equipped with central heating and don’t often have fitted carpets but many, unlike England, have wood log fires to stack (at a cost in our area of at least 40 euros for three wheelbarrows full) and tiled or marble floors.

    I’m wearing my Uggs as I write this!

    All the best,
    Gray.

    WINTER FUEL ALLOWANCE:
    If you are interested in trying to keep the winter fuel allowance please support the petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73368

    Please pass onto any of your other contacts to add their support. It is understood you can sign the petition even if you are getting your allowance in the UK. If the peition gets AT LEAST 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for discussion in the House of Commons.

  46. Not unexpected. The heating Allowance has been taken away. A point needs to be made. After living in Spain for many year my body has change and i find that I reach for the fleece about the same time as the locals.I used to find it amusing that we were still in summer gear while they thought it was cold. So can it be assumed that we get cold at much higher temperature? No .I think this purely a political move because when people come on holiday they don’t feel cold and trot off home and think we don’t need to heat our houses. We have been selected as part of government cuts.Beware our pensions will be next not to mention health care. Happy New Year.

  47. Camposol Mazarron Costa Calida.
    I take temperature readings every morning at 9.30am An example since Christmas is that on no morning has the temperature been higher than 9 degrees This morning 21st January it was only 3 degrees. Perhaps Ian Duncan Smith would to live here in winter and manage on a basic pension and age 83 and paid out tax in the UK from 1946 to 2008.

  48. Enix, Almeria
    We live in the foothills of the Alpujarras and for the last few months have regularly been having log fires. Logs cost us 70 euros for a small dumper truck load and so far, we have needed 5 loads! Temperatures here drop to around minus 1 degree and we experience frost and snow on occasions. So I would like to invite Iain Duncan Smith to come and stay overnight in these temparatures without central heating and with stone floors!! We are pensioners who certainly need our heating allowance. We may have chosen to live in Spain in our retirement but we have lived, worked and paid in to the UK system for all our lives – never claiming a penny. How dare you say that it is absurd and offensive to pay pensioners this benefit Mr Duncan Smith. At the time of writing this (14:20), I am sitting in my house in winter clothes including boots with a roaring log fire. This time next year, it seems that I will no longer be able to afford to purchase logs and will need to be sitting in my house, not only swathed in winter clothes but wrapped in blankets too in order to keep warm!!! I would say that this is absurd and offensive Mr Duncan Smith and against the Civil Rights of two British expats aged 65 and 78 who have never claimed a penny from the British Government, other than our right to a winter fuel allowance!

  49. What about the pensioners who live in england but come to spain for the winter? will they still get the fuel allowance. and vice versa some people here go back to UK for the winter to spend xmas with family in their own homes there – will they get the allowance? Maybe every pensioner in uk and europe will need to complete a form each year stating where they were on certain dates ! More people could be employed specifically for this purpose which would probably cost more than the amount saved in the first place!

  50. what about pensioners who spend winter in spain? will they still get the allowance as they live in england for more than 6 months per year? and vice versa some pensioners here will go back to england for a time in the winter to spend xmas there?
    So maybe the money saved could be spent on employing people to contact every pensioner and ask if they are wintering in uk or abroad?

  51. I am disgusted at the UK Governments decision to withdraw the W.F.A. from ex Pats living in Spain.

    I am sat here looking at the snow on top the nearby mountains and yesterday I was delayed in going shopping whilst the local authority gritted the road. For the past two weeks the temperature has been around the zero mark (one day it was -5c ) needing heating on for most of the day!! Spain does not have sun every day with high temperatures!!!!

    How can the government justify their decision when I paid all my taxes since I started work at 16 yet they pay substantial amount of money to people who have never paid any tax in the UK!

    As for including the Canary Island temperature in their calculations does anyone realise that they are situated just off the coast of AFRICA

  52. May I try and mobilise all the expats to contact their MP at their last address and ask them to sign the Early Day Motion 695 (parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/695). This EDM has been tabled and signed by Sir Roger Gale and Mr. Peter Bottomley. If we can urge as many MPs to sign, we then may have a chance to retain this payment.

  53. RE:Winter fuel allowance. After I read the article here 2 weeks ago I wrote to 10 Downing St. complaining about their plans to scrap the allowance. There is too much to repeat here but in essence I described how we have to have a fire every evening from late Nov until mid March, and invited Ian ‘Scrooge’ Duncan Smith or any other minister who thinks we live in a constant 80c to come and spend a winter without heat. If we did not have any heat the night temperatures would fall to 10c or less, informing them that many nights during the winter the outside temperatures can fall to 0c or less. Also I reminded them that as British citizens we have paid our N.I. contributions for all our working lives and we are entitled to the said allowance.The amount that myself and my husband receive barely covers the cost of logs, let alone the gas needed to heat the bathroom for half and hour a day. I received a reply from Downing Street thanking me for bringing the matter to their attention and that it had been passed on to the ‘relevant’ dept. and that I would be contacted shortly. As I have had no further contact I can only assume that the relevant dept. was the waste bin! Nevertheless having written to them and also signed the petition, I urge anyone who disagrees with the proposal to do the same as myself, If we do not make a noise then we will not be heard.

  54. We expat pensioners, need to send this following email to the Work & Pensions Committee.
    [email protected], by the 24th January 2015.

    It is urged that a ‘prayer’ an EDM as follows is laid before parliament before the 24th January (40 days after the SI was laid )
    Early day motion( prayer)
    Winter Fuel Payment to British Citizens in EU countries.
    The Statutory Instrument 2014 No.3270 laid before Parliament on the 15th December 2014 restricting payment to pensioners residing in countries,(incorrectly,)called by the DWP ‘hot’ of the EU should be annulled. After the General Election, this matter may then be appropriately reconsidered by the new parliament.
    This SI almost certainly contravenes the UK treaty agreement with the EU on social security co-operation.

    In order for questions to be asked in the house apposing the scrapping of the Winter Fuel Allowance for pensioners living out of the UK, the above email needs to be sent so pensioners can stand and be counted and voice their opinions. Time is of the essence as they need to be received before the 24th January. Do it today.

  55. It´s fantastic that every-one is responding with their comments but please send the below email as without the requisite number of petitioners this will go through unchallanged.
    We expat pensioners, need to send this following email to the Work & Pensions Committee.
    [email protected], by the 24th January 2015.

    It is urged that a ‘prayer’ an EDM as follows is laid before parliament before the 24th January (40 days after the SI was laid )
    Early day motion( prayer)
    Winter Fuel Payment to British Citizens in EU countries.
    The Statutory Instrument 2014 No.3270 laid before Parliament on the 15th December 2014 restricting payment to pensioners residing in countries,(incorrectly,)called by the DWP ‘hot’ of the EU should be annulled. After the General Election, this matter may then be appropriately reconsidered by the new parliament.
    This SI almost certainly contravenes the UK treaty agreement with the EU on social security co-operation.

    By the 24th January. TOMORROW.

  56. Dear sir,
    I have read with interest your correspondent’s letters with regard to UK Winter Heating Allowance.
    My wife and I come to Spain for 5 months renting over winter.. I am a UK pensioner of 71.
    I am a bit bemused at the hypocrisy of all those bemoaning the loss of £200 Heating allowance. And the £10 Christmas bonus?
    Last year I could buy euros at the rate of 1.16 to the £. Today it is nearer 1.30 and rising. Anybody entitled to UK heating allowance therefore gets an increase of more than 10% in the number of euros they get to the pound for their pension, don’t they? That is about £11.50 a week. A UK pensioner would love that.
    Diesel is now 80 pence a litre…..they would love that too!
    The veg and wine are so cheap here….not having to be long hauled to UK ASDA.
    Any that invested in solar power in UK would love the extra generation in Spain….where all the sun is 360 days of the year.
    I think you should all count your blessings….after all, after the election the Government are REALLY going for the pensioners. As Mr Balls pointed out, 80% of welfare goes to the pensioners, and he is going to address that! As no doubt will the Tories.
    Regards

  57. Good morning,

    This morning I spoke to a lady in your offices who directed me to your department. I read the other day an article in the Telegraph Expat news written by Elizabeth Roberts on 20 January who explained that Sir Roger Gale has tabled and signed an Early Day Motion 695 (parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/695) Mr Peter Bottomley has also signed. The statutory instrument was laid on Dec 10 and there were 40 days for Member to pray against it. We need as many signatures as possible for expats to contact their MPs at their last UK address and ask them to sign the EDM, also explaining very briefly why this will affect them. We have only until February 9th to achieve this so time is the essence.

    Would you raise a campaign as your paper is far reaching and hopefully the expats will use the tool most useful to them, i.e the internet. We need as many pensioners as soon as possible to contact their UK MPs.

    If you have contacts with newspapers in France etc, that would be brilliant.

  58. I am a 72 year old living in the hills above Totana in South East Spain. I can assure the UK Government that it gets very cold here between January and April. This morning I awoke to snow on the mountains and the water pipes frozen for a few hours. Does this not warrant the need for heating, if not,what does. the Government are making themselves look foolish being unaware of the climate in Spain.

    All the time we are told if you are elderly you must keep warm, how on a one person pension? It is just as difficult to pay the winter heating costs here as it is in the UK, and the government have the added assurance that I will not be asking for social housing, benefits, bus passes etc. So surely, in hind sight I am an asset being abroad and save the Goverment money, the least they can do is give me my heating allowance that I worked 35 years for! It is not a gift I worked for it.

  59. Dear sir,
    I have read with interest your correspondent’s letters with regard to UK Winter Heating Allowance.
    My wife and I come to Spain for 5 months renting over winter.. I am a UK pensioner of 71.
    I am a bit bemused at the hypocrisy of all those bemoaning the loss of £200 Heating allowance. And the £10 Christmas bonus?
    Last year I could buy euros at the rate of 1.16 to the £. Today it is nearer 1.30 and rising. Anybody entitled to UK heating allowance therefore gets an increase of more than 10% in the number of euros they get to the pound for their pension, don’t they? That is about £11.50 a week. A UK pensioner would love that.
    Diesel is now 80 pence a litre…..they would love that too!
    The veg and wine are so cheap here….not having to be long hauled to UK ASDA.
    Any that invested in solar power in UK would love the extra generation in Spain….where all the sun is 360 days of the year.
    I think you should all count your blessings….after all, after the election the Government are REALLY going for the pensioners. As Mr Balls pointed out, 80% of welfare goes to the pensioners, and he is going to address that! As no doubt will the Tories.
    Regards
    Michael Warren

  60. I saw your article today about fuel. The attached photo was taken 60 kms from Marbella yesterday. I am sending it to Party Chairman of Conservatives in London.

  61. I read with interest the article on Winter Fuel Allowance and the talk that is going on about this last year being the final payment to UK expats living in Spain. May I suggest that people do as I did when this debate first arose that they write to David Cameron and their local MP back in the UK as this would do better than writing to the papers here in Mallorca as I personally think this would do more good. I also pointed out in my letter the big difference in the cost of heating our homes here. In my letter I sent to the Daily Bulletin on this subject I also said that I thought the Conservatives Abroad group that are always telling us how important it is to use our vote in the UK ought to be fighting our corner on this concern over the stopping of the allowance.
    I plead with your readers to just take a few moments and write that letter.

  62. With the reference to the letters concerning the Winter Fuel Payment.

    Firstly I fully agree with all the comments made by the letters sent to the Post Newspaper by your avid readers as I am one, and I would like to add comments of my own which are the following:

    a) Will this withdrawal of the winter fuel allowance for pensioner ex-pats living in Spain affect the pensioner owners of properties here in Spain who choose to come over and live in their property throughout the winter months thus avoiding paying their winter fuel bills in the UK therefore allowing the winter fuel payment to help with their expenses in Spain or to perhaps enhance their bank account in the UK. Will they have their winter fuel payment with drawn?

    b) There are also pensioners in receipt of the winter fuel payment that choose to come to Spain and spend the winter months in Hotels in various resorts where they will receive full board, the comfort of heating, and all other facilities on offer at very reasonable winter rates, therefore again not having to pay out for winter fuel bills in the UK, other pensioners may choose to stay in Rental Properties of which there are many on offer in various resorts at very reasonable winter rates, again not having to pay out for winter fuel expenses in the UK. Will they have their Winter Fuel Payment withdrawn?

    I will not go into my personal circumstances suffice to say that I am a single pensioner 70 years young this year and am only in receipt of my state pension and try and manage accordingly often robbing Peter to pay Paul as they say.

    I choose to live here on the Costa Blanca and have done for 10 years or so as I find it a very healthy place to be, I enjoy the climate, although the mornings are cold and the evenings also, the winter sun is lovely during the day but when the north wind doth blow you do need your thermals,however I have made some good friends, and enjoy a healthy life style which in this day and age means a lot.

  63. RE: SCRAPPING OF WINTER FUEL ALLOWANCE FOR NON RESIDENT UK PENSIONERS
    On behalf of thousands of UK pensioners who have paid into the British Pension Scheme all their lives but who now live outside the UK, I write to ask you to seriously re-consider the injustice of removing the payment of the Winter Fuel Allowance.
    As I write, I am looking at the front page of a local newspaper which shows a snow-storm near Antequera. There have been similar scenes in surrounding areas, all of which are considered to be in the ‘tropical location of the Costa del Sol’ ! My home is a relatively short distance from these localities, sited between Estepona and Marbella. Recent temperatures have been close to freezing on several occasions. It is a myth that one can live wthout heating ! Electricity charges in Spain are the second highest in Europe, number two to Germany! UK pensions are among the lowest and least generous in Europe.
    In addition, pensioners living in Spain receive sub-standard reciprocal health benefits. If ALL pensioners returned to the UK and claimed ALL the benefits to which they would be entitled, ALL services in the UK, including the Health Service, would be in very sorry financial straits ! Many pensoners live close to, and indeed, below the poverty line. In comparison to the savings your Government would make, the allowance is a pittance and would cause further hardship. It is amazing to recall that you are the very former backbencher who founded the centre-right Centre for Social Justice! If you consider that this particular decision is justice, it would appear that you have, indeed, lost all social conscience!
    Since the age of 12 until now, at the age of 70, I had been a staunch Conservative supporter all my life. I am fully aware that, in common with most other pensioners here, I have no entitlement to vote in the UK elections, a fact that you will have been fully aware of when making this particular decision. We do, however, between us,have a multitude of family and friends who do, and, who can be persuaded to vote elsewhere ! When you are ‘pipped at the ballot box’, remember it will be too late to wish you had been ‘pricked by your conscience’ when you had an opportunity so to do !!
    Please think about it whilst you still have time.

  64. Am forwarding my protest against the proposed axing of the above which demonstrates very aptly, I think, that I am madder than a wet hen and also, that we are obviously singing from the same hymn sheet. Carry on raging.

    Regards.

  65. Dear Editor.

    Please allow me to respond to the only dissenting letter published re WFA in Euro Weekly News dated Thursday 22nd January, 2015.
    That of Keith Coombes (Moraira).

    I do not intend to go into the full debate here as I intend to write to my MP and to IDS,the Minister,himself.

    I would just like to correct Mr.Coombes on THREE POINTS.

    1. The WFA is 200 pounds a year (almost 250 euros this winter) not 100 as he stated. And this sum is extremely helpful to many ex-pat pensioners living in Spain in a variety of ways.

    2. “Let us not forget pensioners living in the UK continue to pay tax (UK Vat) every day”. I and many other ex-pat pensioners CONTINUE TO PAY TAX TO THE VERY GOVT. WHO WANT TO STOP PAYING THE WFA TO EX-PAT PENSIONERS.

    3. “Winter heating costs (in Spain) are a fraction of those in the UK”.
    Spains electricity is among the highest in Europe and rose by 60% between 2006 and 2012 as per an article in the Spanish Daily “El Pais” 1st Janaury 2014.

    And Spain`s electricity is the FIFTH highest in the European Community.

    So Mr.Coombes maybe you should check your facts before YOU MOAN about “moaning immigrants”!!!

  66. Friends,
    A correspondent (Simon Wollen) has composed a résumé of the Winter Fuel Payment affair. He has sent it to his MP.
    It is excellent. It is attached.
    May I earnestly entreat you to send it to your MP. Remember to tell your MP or ex MP the following.
    Dear ————- M.P.
    Before leaving the UK for my present residence in (France/Spain/Cyprus etc) I lived in your constituency at …………… You, therefore, are the MP who should represent my interests in Parliament.
    Please read the attached and I earnestly request that you sign the EDM number 695 tabled by the well respected MPs Sir Roger Gale and Sir Peter Bottomley.
    Surely such experienced politicians deserve your support.
    Please read the attached résumé by Mr. Wollen of the circumstances.
    your name ………………………….
    ———————————————-
    So far (Thursday 22 January 4.30 p.m.) only one other MP has added their signature to the two original sponsors of the EDM – Sir Roger Gale and Sir Peter Bottomley.
    excuses have been
    It is the custom to respond only to the needs of constituents.
    As a minister I cannot intervene.
    I will look at the matter later
    – others no response at all.

    This matter must be dealt with well before the 9th February – Please help… Brian Cave

    To find your MP – http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

    Mr. Wollen’s paper can also be located via http://www.lefourquet.net/SWollenWFP-jan2015.doc
    You may not yet be involved with WFP, but we are all likely to be affected by Government attempts to govern using a false basis for its Statutory Instruments. For example using the temperatures of the tropical and equatorial areas of the French State to falsify the mean winter temperature of France, to make it higher than the winter temperature of SW England’. So also act in the interests of solidarity with those a little older.

  67. I wish to make the following comment on the withdrawing of the winter fuel allowance for pensioners living abroad in Spain and France.

    I recently saw an appeal on television, presented by Michael Sheen, asking for money to be paid to the people of Syria who are suffering from the “extreme cold”. The British Government have generously offered to match donations pound for pound. I would point out that Syria is further south and east than both Spain and France and therefore has a slightly warmer temperature. Syria would almost certainly fail the Government’s ridiculous “temperature test”, yet this very same Government is telling pensioners living in Spain and France that it is not cold enough in these countries to warrant a winter fuel payment.

    Yet again it shows the double standards of this Government with UK citizens coming off second best, as usual.

  68. I think it is disgusting that the UK Government have decided to axe the Winter Fuel Allowance to expat pensioners.
    Yes it was my choice to live in Spain once I retired, but I still pay UK taxes on my pensions, and have paid National Insurance contributions all my working life. The WFA is a tax payers entitlement not a State handout. When us expats decided to move to another European Country, we were aware claiming any benefits was a non starter. All us British tax payers hear about, is immigrants who have not contributed a cent to the UK economy, claiming for all kinds of benefits, even for their offsprings still living in another Country. How dare MP´s such as Ian Duncan Smith quote its a waste of Taxpayers money. I suggest The Works & Pensions Committee check the weather forecasts for Spain, they will then be aware of how cold it is early mornings and late afternoons. In Spain, electricity and wood for log fires is expensive.
    A winter load of logs will cost you more than the allowance pensioners receive from the UK Government. I wonder how many UK citizens are claiming sickness benefits while residing in a different Country? Its about time the UK Government began supporting its own citizens, rather than rewarding foreign Countries with OUR money.

    I shall certainly be sending an objection to the Work & Pensions Committee demanding this decision is annulled.

  69. Work & Pensions Minister claims that giving pensioners 100 pounds Winter Fuel Allowance is “ Absurd, Ridiculous & Offensive “.

    Seeing about 100 old duffers in Medieval Red Cloakes , sitting in the House of Lords, twiddling their thumbs & getting 300 pounds a day ( & saying it’s not enough ! ) , THAT is offensive & absurd.

    Seeing layabouts who could work & won’t , getting “ up to 27,000 a year “ ( & the rest ! ) on Benefits, THAT’S offensive and absurd.

    Most of the pension generation here , lived through World War II . A great many lots family & friends fighting for the Country so the likes of Ian Duncan Smith , could have a good life. As they do ! We all worked, paid our taxes and dues , so surely we are entitled to a little help now ?

    I would suggest everyone who reads this , post it to I.D.S. It’ll only cost 78 cents fro a stamp.

    Yours Sincerely , ( or should I say ‘ disgustedly ? )

  70. Sign the e-petition before 31st of march here 100,000 signatures needed to keep your winter fuel allowance.
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73368/signature/new

    Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
    Ex pats should continue to receive winter fuel allowance, it is part of their pension rights. Payment should Not be determined by country of residence but by eligibility for UK state pension, as is child benefits payments to children who do not reside in UK, and claimed by parent who is not of British nationality

  71. with regards to the wfp for ex pats in spain I phoned a friend of mine in the uk last night who said that its time ex pats took the govenment to the European court over the payment being cancelled this year.Could you tell me if this is a possability.

  72. Try and look up Daily Mail on Line under News area the article where David Cameron – from his own lips says it is only fair to con tinue with WFA (and bus passes) for ALL pensioners (regardless of income) We should ALL write to him and remind him – after all he said ‘we are not talking about much’.

  73. Dear Editor:

    I have sent this letter to the pension comittee as dictated by my mother Mrs Ruth Ransford. Thank you for giving us the information in order to make our objection. Would you consider publising it?

    Yours scincerely, Christine Ransford.

    29 January 2015. Spain, Granada.

    To the clerk, Work and Pensions Committee.
    From Mrs Ruth Ransford, Motril, Granada, Spain. I was born in 1918.

    Dear sir,
    Please do not take away my heating allowance. I am on a reduced pension and need this money to keep warm.

    After six years of apprenticeship my husband emerged as a highly skilled fitter facing a country in depression and no work, no money. After doing whatever jobs he could find, he slowly built up a small poultry farm.
    At the beginning of 1938 he was visited by government officials asking him to start a job in a nearby factor overhauling cranes and machinery as pre-war work. He went on to work in a blacked out workshop in Shrewsbury doing essential war work making machinery to produce arms for a war which seemed inevitable.
    It was hard work and long hours and he continued working there throughout the war. After the war, there was no work and my husband set up business providing work for others and paying their social security, which he continued to do so for many, many years. At the beginning he was not required to pay into the pension social security system for himself , and did not do so as the business needed money. He made a great sacrifice for our country during the war and in providing work for others afterwards.
    Because of the period of non-payment I find myself on a reduced pension. I am 96 years old and need a hot water bottle to keep warm. We live in sight of the snow-capped mountains of Sierra Nevada and the north winds blow from them.
    I am grateful for the winter fuel allowance which is so necessary to pay for my electricity heating bills during the winter. Thank you.
    Please think again before depriving me of the winter fuel allowance.
    Mrs Ruth Ransford.

  74. Dear EWN

    Last week I contacted your offices with regard to using an article in last weeks edition – thank you for the OK to use.

    I found this article in the Telegraph during the week and wondered if it may be of any good ? I have contacted Sir Roger via his secretaries email (his wife) as his parliament email address was returned to me – “unable to deliver”. Just put into Google his name for more information and webpage.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/expat-money/11355524/MPs-fight-back-against-expat-winter-fuel-allowance-cuts.html

    Keep bringing the news guys – great stuff.

    Kind Regards
    Rick & Sue
    Mead

  75. I watched a program about benefits last night and they get more than the average British family let alone us pensioners , one girl was getting 400 pound a week and 500 pounds a month for rent, come on get your priorities right it seems to be the pensioners are considered an easy target

  76. The winter so far has been very cold going well below 0C. I not only need the £200 for heating but to supplement my £69 week pension (plus £90 month from working at NHS). I am not entitled to claim any pension credit as living here. My estranged husband gets housing benefit plus all extra allowances.
    I think it is time the EU got a challenge of in equality when immigrants in UK are paid family allowance for children (real or imaginary?). This is for people who are only now contributing to UK system and may even be exempt from tax by accepting less than minimum wage. PENSIONERS abroad should be paid a living wage (I have no savings) as the government are unfairly discriminating.
    I would like to know how many other ex-pats are in my situation and how to go about getting proper pension as letters in past sent to MP’s were ignored.
    If I am forced to return to UK I would need £500 month housing benefit, pension credit, and many other benefits when all I ask is a proper pension for all the years I was a stay home mum and lost my entitlement to full pension after divorce and marrying a man who hadn’t paid his full stamps. Then he didn’t need to declare his income as gets all the free help anyway.???

  77. I refer to, and submit my objections to the Statutory Instrument. Living in Spain under the mountains I can assure Mr Ian Duncan Smith
    that without heating for approximately 4 months of the year pensioners, similar to those in the UK would not survive.
    Houses unlike UK houses were not designed with insulation standards.Hollow pot brick construction is fine in keeping the structure cool
    but allows most of the heat produced to escape in winter
    Mr Ian Duncan Smith I invite you to exchange your central heated abode in the UK,for 4 months in winter, for my property in Spain, then you
    would appreciate that conditions are equally as bad for pensioners as those in the UK.
    Yours,Sincerely

  78. I have read with great interest the comments in this week’s EWN regarding the Winter Fuel Allowance for Expats. My husband and I full agree with the comments made in support of this allowance.

    My husband worked hard and paid tax and national insurance for 47 years for his pension and I worked full-time for 44 years for mine. So, we think that we are entitled to the winter fuel allowance in common with most expats. The winters here are cold, this week going down here 0ºC degrees and very damp.

    First of all, I would like to point out to Mr Keith Coombes that energy prices in Mallorca (and on the mainland) are much higher than in the UK. Our house is heated by gasoil and it cost between 1200 euros and 1500 euros each winter to be warm. The house is not big but we both have arthritis, my husband is diabetic and is in remission with bladder cancer. The WFT helps with this bill.

    Also we pay 21% VAT on everything we spend our pensions on here, and 10% on medicines, etc.

    I have been trying to get the vote restored to us as we have only been living here for 12 years and the limit is 15 years but as yet no success.

    Iain Duncan Smith should come here in the winter and try living in an unheated house. He would soon scuttle back to his luxury place in UK.

    I would urge all expats to sign the petition online to keep the winter fuel allowance and urge everyone not to vote for Iain Duncan Smith in the forthcoming election.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73368

  79. Hi, We dont feel sorry for the above ex-pats. We retired to spain before we were 60, and because we did not qualify for a UK heating allowance did not qualify once abroad. That was 13 years ago, think how much we have dipped out on, and after 40 years of paying uk takes. Any chance of a refund. HuH!.

  80. If you retired to Spain before age 60, you’re in a better financial position than most Brits living here. Most have to work until at least State pension age; my mother can’t retire until she’s 66, which is years away.
    BTW, my dad, who is nearly 65 and will still beworking in five years time (despite a glowing career throughout his adulthood) came to see me for my birthday one year in February. Said he’d never been so cold in his life. Subtly, for every birthday since, he’s suggested paying for me to fly to UK as my present. And will I have a week or two free in the spring for him to visit…
    I live in one of the warmest parts of the country, and as I write, I’m wearing thermals, thick pyjamas, bedsocks, a fleecy dressing gown, giant furry slippers, fingerless gloves, have two hot cups of tea next to me and I’m only just above freezing my bits off. In Teruel, it regularly drops to minus 12 even before the worst of the winter strikes. The temperature in Madrid shown on the top of this website as I write is 4ºC.
    I arrange my trips to the UK to coincide with winter, to escape the cold (they have central heating, carpets and cavity wall insulation. Here we have concrete walls, hard floors and only mains electricity to reach our high ceilings – and it breaks the bank just using lights and boiling the kettle. One friend has a wood-burning stove, and it costs her hundreds in logs to keep the temperature above breath-visible-in-the-air. I spend the winter working in cafés to keep warm and save money on electricity).
    I have no personal vested interest in the WFA being kept for expats (in France, winters can drop to minus 20 – that’s life-threatening without heating!) because I’m too young, and left the UK long before I’d worked enough to build up any State pension allowance. I basically grew up in Spain. But for the sake of my many British friends over 60, I’ve signed and duly Facebooked every petition going and feel very, VERY strongly about this.
    If IDS wants to spend the winter in my house, the rent would be very handy and he can have his choice of bedrooms and even use my Wi-Fi, but I’d give him about a week here in winter before he legged it back to tropically-heated British houses.

  81. It might, actually, because it could be considered a ‘restriction on free movement’ between EU member States. Worth looking into.
    Or would this fuel (pun intended) the British government’s insane determination to cut itself off from Europe?

  82. I can tell you how cold it is in the winter out here and we do need our winter fuel money which is little enough to keep us warm anyway. My husband is 75 years old and has had bronchitis for the last 3 years , We will have a job to keep warm this winter as logs and electricity are very expensive and we will greatly miss the 200 pounds. Hope something can be done to reinstate this. By the way my husband worked all his life and payed all his taxes.

  83. Mr peters how many illegal British immigrants are there in spain,beenhere over 180days not fiscally resident pay no taxes{yes on pensions should be paid in spain [drive english cars no road tax ,no MOT antherefore no insurance,]?

  84. The winter fuel allowance was introduced as a Perk several years ago & as such could have been withdrawn at any time. Taxpayers did not pay in to get it, we only pay in to get a pension as a right. I live in Spain & also no longer receive the 200 pounds, but do not belly ache about it, there are a lot of things cheaper here & I don´t see this mentioned!! It is only 200 quid & if you can´t manage without it go back to the UK.

  85. I was working for DWP when Tony Blaire appeared on TV and announced that every pensioner would get help with their winter fuel bills. In those days the State Retirement age was 60 for women and 65 for men. The big topic then was HYPOTHERMIA. Basically, those who qualified for WFP were people claiming their State Retirement Pension, and were identified by the DWP Retirement Pensions computer system. It was £20per household in those days, but those in receipt of INCOME SUPPORT would receive £50 per household -they were identified by the Income Support Computer System– those Income Support Claimants who were in receipt of PENSIONER PREMIUM with their Income Support. There was an anomily in those days, in that MEN over age 60 would qualify for PENSIONER PREMIUM with their Income Support, and so, some households where nobody was of STATE RETIREMENT AGE would qualify for the £50 WFP . (ie this would be in households where HE was age 62, and she was just age 57 – ie both under State Retirement age).
    THEN there was a Milkman over age 60, but under age 65 -who claimed sex-discrimination. He won his case and a whole new admin department had to be set up – issuing claim forms and verifying dates of birth and making the payments. I’m not sure whether there were any residency conditions, or whether you could simply be a man over age 60, with a national insurance number, and simply in UK during the QUALIFYING WEEK (I think it was the last week of September) Sorry if we’re not helping with your air conditioning abroad

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