Shameful Government Spending Cuts

Save Money Anywhere Else Please Tories

I read with real disgust the news that the Conservatives are considering removing the heating allowance for pensioners that have a bit of cash. I think the number they are talking about is income of 50k per annum.

Come on Tories.

These old folks have done their bit for society and it is about time we did ours for them. If they have an income of 50k plus they have probably been paying into a pension for 50 years, probably have been hit by annuity rates, probably paid millions in taxes over their working life, and are probably still struggling to get a lifestyle they actually deserve.

Retirement is not cheap. More free time means more money spent. Grand kids, helping out children and trying to get away for a break don’t come cheap either. Let’s not punish them for working hard all their lives. Let’s recognise them by keeping their heating allowance in place.

What is the Heating Allowance?

Here is a summary of what the heating allowance is:

The heating allowance is available to anyone who was born on or before 5 July 1951 and is normally resident in the UK during the qualifying week, which for this year was 17-23 September 2012. There are a few exceptions though; you’re not eligible if during the qualifying week you:

  • Were in prison
  • Were in hospital getting free treatment that lasted 52 weeks or more
  • Needed permission to enter the UK and didn’t qualify for assistance from the Department of Work and Pensions
  • Spent the last 12 weeks or more in a care home and claimed Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance

For more information on eligibility see the Winter Fuel Payment website.

If you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (this doesn’t include Housing Benefit, Child Benefit or Council Tax Benefit) your heating allowance should be paid automatically; payments are usually made in November or December and you should get it before Christmas. Otherwise you’ll have to make a claim. You can download a claim form from this link.

Ex-Pats Can Claim Too

If you live outside the UK but somewhere else in the European Economic Area or in Switzerland you may still be able to claim, as long as you can show a genuine link with the UK, such as holding UK citizenship. If you want to claim this you need to use a different form, which can be found here.

The amount you will be paid depends on a number of things, such whether you live alone or with someone else who qualifies for the payment and if you or someone you live with is aged 80 or older. More details are available here.

As well as the heating allowance you might be able to get cold weather payments if the temperature in your area is below 0°C for a week or more. To find out if you’re eligible for this please see this page.

I know we need to save money and reduce the National Debt. But I don’t think this is a good idea. What do you think? Sensible cost saving measure or slap in the face for our most deserving pensioners?

Phil Turner thinks that everyone needs to find out about the winter heating allowance. Information is important because it then allows you to lobby your MP and to talk with authority.