4 Sep, 2012 @ 11:48
1 min read

Expats in Spain to benefit from winter fuel payment following EU ruling

pensioners receiving winter fuel allowance under attack in spain

THOUSANDS of expats could be eligible for a winter fuel payment under the terms of an EU ruling.

The announcement is good news for the estimated 100,000 British pensioners who live in Spain, many of whom are not able to claim the allowance under current laws.

Previously, elderly expats could only receive the payment if they turned 60 before leaving Britain and if they had left after the payment was introduced in 1998.

But expats now only need to have a ‘genuine and sufficient link to the UK’ to qualify, including having ‘lived or worked in the UK for most of your working life’.

The ruling by the European Court of Justice affects around 440,000 elderly Britons who live outside Britain but within the EU.

Anyone born on or before July 5, 1951, can now make a claim for the payment this year, which ranges from £200 to £300 depending on your circumstances.

In the 2010-11 winter, 72,840 expats claimed winter fuel payments, at a cost of almost £16 million – a figure which could rise to £100 million if all of the eligible expats were to claim it.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith called the ruling ‘ludicrous’ and has promised to introduce a ‘temperature test’ to determine eligibility.

James Bryce

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  1. Excellent news. If you’ve lived in the UK for most of your life and paid your taxes, this is a basic right. Temperature test? lol, what a fool that man is.

  2. I’d like to invite “I.B.S” to spend a winter in our ancient freezing house. I’m sure after a couple of months of listening to his “ludicrous” hot air we’ll be as warm as toast.

  3. From what I have heard all this ruling will mean is no-one in Spain will get a payment this year.
    Yes it does get cold at night in Spain but i am sure IDS will have the tempature test measured in Spain at midday and then compare it to the UK.
    Remember it will be the tempature outside which is measured and not in an ancient freezing house built to keep the heat out.

    IDS like all in the government are looking for ways to save money and this ruling by the EU has answered his prayers.

    So from what I can see the fools are the expats who complained to the EU and not IDS.

  4. This was announced over a week ago and judging by the comments in the UK press a lot of people in the UK want Ex Pats hung drawn and quartered and their pensions withdrawn for being traitors by leaving the UK. Of course I suspect a lot of people making those comments have never paid a penny tax in their lives.

  5. IDS should REALLY be subject to an IQ test to verify IF he is fit to hold any office, EVEN a Public one. What an idiot – when people have PAID for a benefit, they are entitled to have it. Hard for Politicians to understand since that principle of UN-accountability doesn’t seem to apply to their Pension plan, Health benefits, Severance pay when UN-elected, Bonus payments even when their efforts fail or lose taxpayers’ money, substantial Cost Over-runs on programs, ad nauseum…!
    Darn good thing UK Politicians don’t have to GET A REAL JOB.

  6. Many thanks for this article and the comments by Old Expat. I have filled in the form and shall send it immediately after the qualifying week 17-23 September. Shall let you know how I get on.

  7. Why aren’t these payments being back dated? I have lost 10 years of winter allowances even though I was over 60 when I went to live in Spain (I went before September of that year). I argued for quite a few years before finally giving up as the red tape got thicker. If it’s something we should have been entitled to then we are owed!

  8. FYI to other posters –

    After badgering the DWP with letters and phone calls for 3 months after posting them my claim form for this winter, I have now received a letter confirming I will receive a payment for 2012/2013.

    On the subject of back payments, the position is less clear. Firstly I have received legal advice from an on-line EU advice centre that clearly states that the ECJ ruling is retrospective and the DWP should reimburse me for the 6 years of WFA they have denied me.

    However, in a telephone call to the DWP yesterday (19th November) they stated that they do not accept the courts retrospective nature of the ruling. However, in the same breath they also stated they have a new back payment claim form that was created purely as a result of this ruling. They are sending me this form to claim back payments BUT then said that no back payments will be paid anyway.

    Clearly the DWP are playing games with the courts ruling by appearing to adhere to it, but in actuality are frustrating would be claimants for back payments by refusing to pay up.

    As the fat lady said, it isn’t over yet until I sing and meanwhile I’m playing their silly game whilst looking at complaints bodies like the Parliamentary Ombudsman and a EU complaints body.

  9. Hi Mike
    I found your post very interesting as I have just received a letter from DWP rejecting my claim for retrospective payments. The reason given is “You are not entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for this year 2011-12 (and so on…..) This is because your claim was received after 30 March following the winter for which you have claimed.” This seems to me to be another case of the DWP “playing games” as they quite clearly stated we were not elegible to claim for payment in previous years. Are they suggesting that knowing we were not elegible we should still have submitted a claim only to have it rejected on each occasion. Surely not?
    Is it possible for you to post the legal advice you refer to regarding the ECJ ruling about retrospective payments. I am told that I can appeal against the decision which I intend to do and it would very helpful to read the wording of the ruling. For information this also has a time limit of one month from the date of their letter 14 November and received here 30 November. I am running out of time!

  10. After reading this site earlier this year I put in my claim, which I duly received a week or so ago. I have just telephoned The dept to ask WHY I am not being paid for the years before. This ruling come from EU, therefore the Uk had to comply, which means they had denied us this allowance and they were wrong, By paying us now, it proves that argument. I am sure the law in UK was not changed to accomodate us, It was the EU pointing out it was illegal to withold our money.

    I will now rite to the dept and ask for a claim form as the one to download is not the correct form for the years we are talking about. I was 60 in 2004, I have lived here in Spain for 13years.

    L. Holland

  11. Robin – It would seem you got caught by that perverse DWP rule that said you had to claim before September but also be in the country. Researching this in more detail over the last 2 weeks it seems that the WFA was made a portable benefit like the state pension in 2002 but only for those in receipt of it before they they left unlike the state pension. Of course the ECJ ruling this June ensures everyone with substantive links to the UK should get it. Based on the ECJ ruling you should get back payments as well but currently the DWP is refusing to pay out.

    PM – I had understood that the qualifying week rubbish had been removed for this year as it was not possible for every ex-pat to claim in time as the DWP didn’t exactly advertise the changes in WFA. In fact they were very noticeable by their silence in the media and on their useless web site.

    Darran – Although not in possession of the WFA payment yet, I have it in writing that I will be paid this month and was told this Monday it will be transferred to my account this month. Originally the woman fobbed me off with you may have to wait until march but when I insisted I had a letter saying otherwise, she then bothered to check her computer and confirmed the middle of December. If you have sent the claim form back to Sunderland, you should get it but as for when, that’s anyone’s guess. They claim to be overwhelmed by all the ex-pat claims but as I pointed out to them, had they had the sense to pro-actively pay us based on our receiving a state pension, they could have avoided a lot of unnecessary work and grief. Trouble is, common sense and pro-activeness is not a DWP strong point and as for IDS, don’t even get me started. All that BS about cutting benefit fraud and all he’s done is annoy a lot of ex-pats over a very small amount of the benefit costs.

    On the back payments saga I’m still getting the usual stalling tactics by the DWP. Even this Monday on one hand they refuse to accept the retrospective nature of the ECJ ruling but on the other hand, they refuse to put it in writing. I think we all know why ! They are also trying it on by suggesting that because most ex-pats in our situation didn’t put a WFA claim in for previous years, that disqualifies a back payment despite the fact that it would have been rejected anyway under the previous rules. As luck would have it, I did make a ‘test’ claim when I turned 60 (which was rejected) and they know that, but they still keep stalling.

    I’m actually sending them one more letter tomorrow demanding a written response on their refusal to accept the retrospective ruling and then if nothing happens, I’m escalating it upwards both in the UK and the EU.

  12. B ELLIO – Actually I don’t disagree with your statement but that one eyed Scottish chancellor didn’t see it that way. In essence, the WFA was a vote bribe for the public sector that could retire at 60, hence the entitlement began at 60 rather than the state retirement age.

    Then IDS for all of his rhetoric, didn’t have the courage to scrap it, roll it into the state pension and make people wait until state retirement age. If he had, it would be means tested via taxation at no cost in administration from those ‘wonderful’ civil servants in the North.

  13. Ros – Just read your post and heres the response below I got from the EU advice centre at

    [email protected]

    I hope this clarifies matters and why I’m battling the DWP at the moment.




    Dear Mr. Godfrey,

    Thank you for your enquiry to the Your Europe Advice service.
    In general, judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU have retrospective effect. If the effect of a judgment is to be prospective only, the Court of Justice will specifically state this as happened for the first time in the Defrenne case C-43/75. This was not done in the Stewart case C-503/09. Therefore, in your case, the DWP should be prepared to backdate payment of the WFA to you. Based on the Aberdeen decision of the Court of Justice C-338-347/11 earlier this year, it appears that you should be able to claim retrospectively for at least a period of six years under the Limitation Act 1980.
    I would recommend that you communicate with the DWP again requesting that the back payment be made to you. If this is not done, you should appeal the decision and perhaps refer it to the Parliamentary Ombudsman – “http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/home”
    You should also refer the matter to SOLVIT which is an EU network established to resolve problems caused by misapplication of EU law by public administrations. In your case, you should contact the Spanish SOLVIT service. The service is free of charge. You can obtain contact details and further information concerning SOLVIT on the following website: “www.ec.europa.eu/solvit/”

    I trust that this information is of assistance to you.
    Yours sincerely,
    Your Europe Advice

  14. Hi Mike
    Many thanks for your response. Very helpful and eassuring. I sent my appeal this morning along these lines and will let everyone know if and when I hear anything.
    Still no written confirmation anout this years payment although sent well within their time limits. Reading Darrans posts it seems time to make a personal call.

    Please keep us informed of any progress you make.


  15. B Ellio

    Whilst I would probably agree with your sentiments, last time I looked my pension was £107 x 52 weeks. Hardly reaches the £20,000 you mention. I wish!

  16. Thank your collective lucky stars that it’s only a winter fuel payment you are fighting D.W.P. for. Try convincing their appointed disability police in the U.K. that you are unfit to work. They will tip you out of your wheelchair and make you crawl to a burger-flipping job before you know it. Oh, and don’t think they’ve forgotten the “scrounging” ex-pats either…

  17. Ros – I forgot to mention previously that one DWP person actually told me to submit a WFA back claim form purely for a matter of record and in the same breath he said they wouldn’t pay it anyway. Of course this form doesn’t exist on their website and I’m still waiting for it to arrive in the mail, but such is the perversity of their twisted mindset. My suspicion is they know they are skating on thin ice over the retrospective nature of the ECJ ruling but have been told by IDS to deny, stall and do anything they can to not pay back payments. They also know that to pay one person out will open a floodgate of other claimants.

  18. Mike – Like you i could not find an appropriate WFA back claim form on their website so I downloaded the one that is available and changed the years myself. The interesting thing is that they have responded to this application and in their letter accepted and referred to my revised claim years without question. Perhaps you might want to consider the same method if you do not receive a form by post.
    As I said before the DWP rejected my claim on the grounds that they had not received the claim at the correct time. They did however give me the right of appeal, albeit with a time limit of one month from the date of the letter for receipt of the appeal in their office. This is the stage I am at now. If or rather when the DWP have to accept the ECJ ruling and pay the back payments I did not want to be told that I am not elegible because I hadnt registered an appeal within their timescale. There is a leaflet GL24 on their website that explains the procedure of appeals and also includes the appropriate appeal form. Keep in touch.

  19. If nothing else I think the experience of many of us at the hands of the DWP shows they’re in headless chicken mode over the ECJ ruling with one hand not knowing what the other hand is doing or saying and the only consistency is their refusal to pay back payments.

    From my dealings with them over the past 4 months they have refused point blank to put in writing their position over the retrospective nature of the ECJ ruling whether to agree with it or to reject it. One would have thought that with their highly trained legal team (their words, not mine) they could interpret the ECJ judgment and make such a statement but apparently not.

    Ros – I’ll follow your lead and use that old back payments form, change the dates, send it off as a test and see what lame excuse comes back.

  20. Hi Ros &Mike
    We are in the same canoe as you – retired here before aged 60 – what I think I will do is download the claim form and amend as appropriate – that means 4 forms for each of us for missing years and send them in separately – will see what happens – will let you know – maybe if enough of us do this who knows !!!!


  21. Hi Ginge, I think the more people that apply for back payments the more they DWP will realize its something they can’t brush under the carpet but I don’t expect results any time soon.

    When I applied for the WFA after I turned 60 in Spain the DWP responded in the same manner and it took over 3 months before I managed to ‘extract’ the the legal opt out clauses that allowed them to not pay WFA previously. Now with a legal ruling that looks certain to be on our side they seem to be going all out to ignore it but at the same time refusing to put it in print let alone justify it.

  22. Good old DWP! They do try don’t they. I have just finished a 3 year battle with them over attendance allowance and Carers allowance for my 89 year old parents and myself. Guess what, every step of the way they rejected the claims. They initially rejected the claims on the grounds that we lived in Spain. Then they quoted the six months in the previous year resident in the UK to qualify. Despite taking over a year from the ECJ ruling to notify us. Eventually went to Independent Arbitration. 1 week before the hearing they folded. Now they seem to be trying again. As far as I understand the Lucy Stewart case the UK was in breach of the original treaty signed by the member states, allowing free passage without penalty. The ECJ ruling IS retrospective as proven by my case. We shall now be pursuing my wifes claim for this year and the previous 4 years. Don’t give up keep pushing!.

  23. Clive,

    you’ve got that right about the DWP as they certainly do try to avoid paying up legitimate claims and even against a court ruling. After 4 weeks, I finally received the elusive back payments claim form WFP2(EEA)from the DWP that covers years 2000/01 to 2011/12 but the strange thing was the accompanying letter only talked about claiming WFA and not back payments. Yet another example of failing to put in writing what they tell you over the phone in case its “self incriminating”. Good job I record my calls !

    Both however do state that you have to claim WFA by March 30th for the preceding year which sort of nullifies the point of the form. The implication is that if you claim afterwards its only valid for the next winter onwards. Of course these are weasel words as most ex-pats not in receipt of WFA would not have made a WFA claim at 60 knowing they were ineligible for the WFA under other rules. This could be used as a basis to refute that time limit rule as the recent ECJ ruling was retrospective and so should the time limit rule be waived.

    In my particular case, fortuitously I did make a WFA claim after I turned 60 and they know full well I have a record of that as I have the rejection letter. Consequently I’m pursuing my claim on the basis that I met their rules on the ‘time limit’ despite being refused WFA for other reasons. I’m sending this new form back to them after Xmas to see what next set of weasel words they’ll dream up.

    I won’t give up and they should know that by now as I’ve had 2 previous run ins with them over their incompetence and it just ends up costing them a lot of time/money to fix their self created problems.

    I have a couple of pointers to pursue this elsewhere but could you point me to the process for independent arbitration.



  24. Mike,
    I was pusuing Attendance allowance and carers allowance, but it all comes under the same rulings.

    I found that
    1. you claim
    2. they reject it.
    3. you appeal.
    4. they send it to a “decision Maker” who rejects it.
    5. see 3
    6. see 4

    get the idea!

    then when you are thoroughly peed off you request that they send your claim to arbitration. This can take several weeks/months.

    But I did attend 1 and the judge handed me the award in our favour. At the 11th hour the DWP backed down ang agreed the claim. I still had to chase the same procees for my carers allowance and got the same response. But I then wrote an email to IDC requesting he explained what was going on. Surprise surprise 2 weeks later a call from DWP agreeing my claim, backdated as well


  25. Hi, all,

    And the increasing incompetence in that part of the UK called the DWP continues unrelentingly.

    Back in August 2012 my wife and I under instructions from the DWP each filled out a WFA claim form for 2012/2013 naming each other as spouse at the same address. We were told to do this as we each would get £100 rather than one of us getting £200. This we did for all the use it accomplished.

    A letter from the DWP in October stated that I would receive £200 in December but no mention of £100 each. In mid December my wife receives £200 in our joint account followed by two more letters from the DWP in the same post delivery. The first to my wife states she’s entitled to WFA and will receive payment even though she already had been paid 2 weeks previously. My letter said I was NOT entitled to WFA as I was not in receipt of WFA prior to leaving the UK. Obviously that unnamed bozo at the DWP had not read the ECJ ruling.

    Bear in mind I had already received a letter in October saying I would get it and sure enough, on 30th December I also got £200 as well. No doubt they’ll ask for it back some time but thats for them to ask and me to respond in kind.

    Of course there’s still the matter of 7 years back payments unresolved and I’ll suggest that the extra £200 be used as part payment of that but it beggars belief of the sheer incompetence at the DWP.

    Happy New Year everyone and lets hope we might see some back payments soon.

  26. I was told that under the new asset declaration in Spain that state pensions and I would presume state benefits do not have to be declared as an asset as they are ‘temporary’ benefits in their parlance. As far as a taxable benefit from income then I suppose they should be declared as income much the same as the Xmas 10 pound payment. I’d check with a tax expert and make an ‘informed’ decision on what to do.

  27. Hi All,

    I have just found this site whilst looking for info on the EU directive re WFA. I received the payment for 2012/13 and completed the forms I subseqently received from the DWP for the previous 6 years and understand from a telephone conversation with the DWP that my claim and appeal has been rejected, that was several weeks ago and I still have not received the letter they said they had sent to me! I originally applied for the WFA in 2007, was rejected, appealed and even wrote to 10 Downing Street on the subject.

    I live in Lanzarote and do not always receive my mail, but the DWP refuse to send copies by email (security issues!) but they do not need to include any personal information!

    I wonder therefore if any of the previous contributors on this site have had any success with back-dating appeals?

    Any information regarding other peoples’ experiences will be appreciated.


  28. Gill,

    Firstly, do not expect any response from the DWP in a timely manner as they take on average a month to draft a reply and then that letter goes into some EU collection centre to be sent out once a month. At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to with the repeatedly tardy responses I’ve had from them.

    As an example of their incompetence, a friend of mine on the Costa Blanca had them ring up last week because they hadn’t had a reply from him over some issue they’d posted to him. On the phone, predictably they refused to discuss what the issue is so his still in the dark. Turns out the area where he lives is St Llucia as is mine and for some inexplicable reason they thought that St Llucia, Costa Blanca, Alicante, Spain was a Caribbean Island. Go figure ?

    Anyway I digress, back to your claim for previous winters.

    I too claimed for WFA in 2005 when I turned 60 and was refused it under the old rules. I then made a back payments claim in August 2012 in a letter due to the retrospective nature of the Stewart ruling in the European Court of Justice. There was no claim form as there wasn’t one in existence then but that ruling gave us WFA for 2012/13 going forward and was retrospective in nature. Initially the DWP refused to countenance paying it stating that they didn’t recognize the court ruling on retrospective action but when I asked to put that in writing, they refused. Draw your own conclusions as to why not.

    What happened next was in October 2012, they created a brand new claim form for past winters (WFP2(EEA) 10/12) which had caveats of ‘qualifying periods’ that would disallow a back payment to be made. This form never existed previously for ex-pats as we weren’t allowed to claim anyway after emigrating but it was done to frustrate back payment claims from people like us. By this time, they had dropped the “we don’t recognize retrospective rulings” stance as they believed this new form would block claimants.

    The DWP rejected my reasoned argument in January and in February I appealed against their decision on the following grounds. In my case, I made two claims for WFA one in 2005 for the winter of 2005/6 going forward and then a claim for back payments in 2012, both of which were made before this new claim form they created in October 2012. My point was the claim form can not be used retrospectively to block my earlier claims as it never existed at that time.

    As of last night night I hadn’t received any communication from them despite 2 emails in the past 2 weeks and out of frustration last Sunday, I contacted ‘Solvit’ an EU type ombudsman that deals with legal issues like ours. (Google solvit.com)

    Coincidentally or otherwise, I actually got an email from the DWP this morning stating the following –

    “We have prepared a response to your appeal, which gives the reasons for our decision. A copy was posted to you today and also to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). HMCTS will contact you when they receive the response to explain what happens next”.

    As you found out, they refuse to put anything in an email so I haven’t the foggiest what their decision is. I suspect its another rejection but I’m hoping that Solvit with their legal people can pressure the DWP to comply with the spirit and ruling of the ECJ judgement as up till now, they haven’t.

    I apologize for this long dialogue but it gives you an idea of the problems many of us experience at the hands of the DWP in Newcastle.

    My advice is to follow up with ‘Solvit’ explaining that you claimed in 2007 long before the form (WFP2(EEA) 10/12) came into being and therefore it shouldn’t be used to deny you back payments.

    The key point is that the DWP is just playing lip service to back payments by creating this form as they have no intention of paying any as the conditions laid down prevent it. Back in October time, one of the guys at the DWP stated to me I can fill it in and send it back, but I still wont get it anyway as they don’t accept the ruling.

    Its nothing but a stalling tactic to try and block people claiming for previous years and personally, I doubt its legal in our cases. I’ve been at this since last August but I’m not giving up.

    Good luck to you and maybe the more of us that badger the DWP the sooner they’ll see reason.

  29. Boulder – great comment.

    I never knew I was entitled to WFA at age 60. I only claimed my State pension last year and stupidly thought that the WFA would be automatically paid.

    Just think how many civil servants are engaged in this stonewalling and how much it costs.

    When I downloaded the State pension claim forms I think there were around 37 pages – too simple to differentiate between British born citizens and those of other origins.

  30. Stuart, for your own good NEVER make any assumptions that the DWP will look after your interests because they don’t. Part of it is incompetence and part of it I believe is a deliberate policy of reducing the benefits bill.

    Even for UK residents, its a well established fact that there are probably 10%-20% of pensioners who aren’t aware of what they can claim for and they lose out as a result.

    I can understand why people would think that they’d automatically get the WFA when they turn 65 as they are in receipt of the state pension although now of course, ex-pats should get the WFA at 60 the same as everyone else.

    This perverse attitude at the DWP in the case of ex-pats receiving state pensions, is that they know we are alive, where we live and that we are eligible for WFA, but they still demand that 37 page claim form to be filled in despite already having all the information.

    The irony of all these forms that the DWP demand we fill in, is that my wife and I ended up receiving two lots of WFA for 2012/13 instead of 100 pounds each. I brought this to their attention recently so they can recover 200 GBP but how that will happen is up to them as I’m not paying for extraneous costs in transferring 200 GBP back to them for their mistakes.

    The bottom line is to keep on our toes on entitlements and keep the pressure on Newcastle to deliver.

  31. Mike,
    thanks for all your enormous and welcome input on WFA.

    Now compare this with life for a pensioner in the Netherlands – you are forced by law to pay into a private pension along with your employer, so you retire with a State pension as well, which means that you receive 90% of your final salary.

    It’s worth noting that Dutch pension investment vehicles are not allowed to ramp up charges so that the same investment earns 3 x the amount of a UK one.

    This of course means that WFA, rent rebates, income top-ups simply are’nt needed in the Netherlands – how wonderfully simple and cost effective.

    I don’t in any way blame the staff who administer this nasty and ultimately expensive blocking system. However if they refused to administer it at all, it would collapse,which is probably what is nec. before something better can emerge.

    We all know of the billions and billions wasted on computer systems for the NHS/flight control etc. and the £68 billion + on tax avoidance which if eliminated or never happened in the first place could mean that western Europe’s meanest State pension could be raised and this whole WFA simply would’nt need to exist.

  32. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your detailed reply to my post. I typed quite a lengthy update last night but it disappeared when I tried to send it and a message came up that the site was unavailable, so I will keep this fairly brief in case it happens again.

    I rang the DWP again on 8 May and was told someone would call me back the following day, which they did – Lisa. I explained everything again, and as these conversations are supposedly recorded, I make sure I go through everything for the record! Anyway, I told Lisa I still had not received the letter they allegedly sent on 22 April. She said based on my phone calls they have now sent my appeal to the Tribunal Appeals team and I don’t need to put anything more in writing at this stage, but they will write to me!!!

    I told her I will ring again in 2 weeks if I do not receive a letter.

    I agree with your comments on this issue and intend contacting Solvit if I do not receive a letter by the end of next week.

    It must have cost a fortune sending out the forms for back-dating to those who successfully applied for the 2012/13 payment and for them to deal with the phone calls and correspondence as a result!

    Anyway, I will leave it at that for now and check for updates from other people on this site.


  33. Stuart, I know it might seem unfair to blame the front line troops at the DWP but there’s been no consistency on responses to back payments of WFA, goal posts move all the time and it takes a minimum of a month before you might receive a reply.

    As of today, I still haven’t had the response they promised me previously and I’ve ratcheted it another notch by emailing Ian Duncan Smith personally. As it stands right now, I’m oblivious on the result of my appeal, Solvit have been involved for about 10 days so far and IDS also. Maybe rattling a few cages will get a result.


  34. Gill, on the face of it, you seem to be making some progress but being rather pessimistic over the DWP, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. I hope she does soon as my gut feeling is they are trying to hold back a flood of claims against a legal ruling in the ECJ and they don’t want to set a precedent.


  35. This is my second attempt to type this post, I don’t think it’s my computer but I always seems to have a problem with the speed and losing the content I have typed on this site!

    Anyway, you are right Mike, I received an ambiguous letter today from the IPC, dated 22 April 2013, which reads:

    “Dear Mrs Ranby

    About your Winter Fuel Payment

    Thank you for the appeal received at this office on 16 April 2013.

    When the claim for 2006/2007 was disallowed the law on entitlement was applied correctly. The subsequent decision of the court on 21 July 2011 is not binding retrospectively and therefore there are no grounds to reconsider this disallowance.

    In the case of the recent decisions for the years 2007/2008 and 2011/2012 the claim has to be made by 30 March of the year following that which you wished to claim for. This time requirement did not change following the 2011 Court Judgement. Your claim form was received on 14 March 2013 consequently these claims were disallowed on grounds of lateness.

    Regulation 4(1) of the Social Fund Regulations 2000 confers the power but not the duty to make a Winter Fuel Payment without a claim. Regulation 4(1) can only be relied on to make a payment where it appears from official records that the person is entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment. It is up to the person themselves to make a claim.

    Your appeal has now been passed to our Appeals Team who will write to you regarding the Tribunal process.

    If you want more information about anything in this letter, please get in touch with us. The phone number and address are at the top of this letter.

    Yours sincerely
    Carole Davison
    Winter Fuel”

    So!!! Ambigous or not! I claimed for 2006/07 which they now seem to be accepting, but then go on to speak of 2011/12, which would have been ongoing if they had accepted my 2006/07 claim!

    Will have to see what happens next!


  36. I have had my claim for back years also referred to the tribunal. I told them I would not stop sending the claim forms in, they kept sending back the same reply. too late etc.
    I first tried to claim in 2005/6 and I was turned down, I appealed and was turned down again, this is what I am basing my claims on, I did try to claim and was in time. I await with baited breath. Will let you know when and IF I get a reply.


  37. Lillian, It looks like we’re all in a similar boat as today I received a letter from HM Courts & Tribunal Services about my appeal. True to form even they got it wrong as the letter refers to my ‘Income Support Appeal’ which is something I’ve never claimed for in my life let alone appeal on. I can only assume the ‘poor dears’ got confused and thought my WFA back payments appeal was about Income Support but why is anyone’s guess. Go figure !

    Anyway, I filled in the form and added a cover letter pointing out their mistakes and asked for a personal appearance slot for when I’m in the UK next. Whether they’ll go for it or rule in my absence remains to be seen.

    One telling aspect is the number of appeals they are being inundated with as to quote them from their letter “We are currently dealing with a very high volume of appeals and are working hard to reduce the response time”. The DWP is certainly making a rod for their own backs and people are no longer willing to accept wooly responses from Newcastle that try to deny a benefit, hence the high appeal levels. At this rate, the admin costs will soon exceed the costs of paying back payments but that’s their problem.

    As I mentioned previously, I’m not just relying on the UK appeals process but have contacted SOLVIT to help me in addition to a letter to IDS.

    I’ll continue my updates for all as they occur.


  38. Gill,

    Re your post on May 15th regarding the retrospective nature of the Stewart case.

    As I posted previously, initially the DWP were adamant that they did not regard the ECJ ruling as being retrospective and they used that as the reason for not paying back payments. When I pressed them further and asked for it in writing they refused, so I supplied them with the legal advice I received from Your Europe Advice (see below). They then changed their position and no further mention was made of retrospective law to me and I believe its because they knew that position wouldn’t stand up in law. Then in October 2012, they brought out the new back payments claim form to try and block back payments using this qualifying period nonsense. However, its my understanding that retrospective rules/laws like this new back payments claim form should not or cannot be used to disadvantage a person who would be entitled to payments prior to the new rules. In effect, this claim form is only prospective and not retrospective as it can disadvantage claimants if retrospective in nature.

    Personally, I believe a claim for a benefit is valid in the absence of an official claim form but especially so as the form didn’t exist previously. I’d argue that a simple letter requesting back payments as a result of the retrospective court ruling should be sufficient to lodge a claim notwithstanding claim forms being created long after the event.

    Anyway, here was the legal advice I received.

    “Thank you for your inquiry to the Your Europe Advice service.

    In general, judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU have retrospective effect. If the effect of a judgment is to be prospective only, the Court of Justice will specifically state this as happened for the first time in the Defrenne case C-43/75. This was not done in the Stewart case C-503/09. Therefore, in your case, the DWP should be prepared to backdate payment of the WFA to you. Based on the Aberdeen decision of the Court of Justice C-338-347/11 earlier this year, it appears that you should be able to claim retrospectively for at least a period of six years under the Limitation Act 1980. ”


  39. I emailed the DWP on 20 May, also sent a copy of the email in the post 22 May, no reply to either. Today, I spoke to someone in the WF dept, called Dale (who had an attitude problem!) He said as my appeal has gone to the Tribunal I will just have to wait for them to write to me. I asked for contact details and he said it could be an office anywhere in the UK so not able to give me any further information.

    Has anyone else had any results from their appeal?


  40. I had a letter telling me that my appeal would be heard in Newcastle in about 2 months, I was asked if I wanted to attend or have someone represent me. I said No to both, I have since received a letter from the WF dept, with all the information they are putting forward as to why I should not get back payments, also all the correspondence from me , stating why I should. They are quoting two cases, one from Swansea and the other from Liverpool that shows there case. They state they have no record of my application in 2005 or my appeal against that decision, They actually telephoned me at that time and the lady that rang told me she was horrified that I cvould not claim, yet someone from another counrty could turn 60 get WF leave the country and still receive it for life, but I could not. They of course have no record of that.

    I will keep you up to date on what happens next, and if anyone has any advice for me I would be grateful.

    Lillian Holland

  41. Hi Lillian,

    Thanks for your update. I will phone the DWP again in 2 weeks unless I hear anything in the meantime. Amazing that when you ring them you get the message that calls are recorded but they don’t have a record of the calls! Dale, who I spoke to today was most unhelpful. We will just have to stay with it!


  42. Just found this site & also having problems with the DWP.
    I applied for WF payment when I reached 60 & it was refused as I moved to Spain before the qualifying age.After I applied for it this year I got a letter saying I was not entitled to it & write to them if I wanted t know why. So I rang them & they said they had made a mistake & sent it, I contacted the complaints Dept & they agreed if I hadn’t Queried the letter I wouldn’t have received it & apologized.

    I have been battling the DWP for over 2 years now over the bereavement payment & after going through all the appeals to just receiving the finding from HM courts & tribunals.From my experience they are all useless, the HM C&T service has no powers & will just agree or not with your circumstances, totally pointless.

    From what I’ve read the parliamentary Ombudsman has the power to overturn DWP nonsense & shown case histories look as if common sense & fairness is used in their decisions. The problem is you have to lodge your complaint with an MP to get to the PO & living abroad you don’t have one, sent them an email asking how I can proceed as I’m not giving up.

  43. Up-date: I have received a letter from HM Courts and Tribunals Service, my back-dating appeal will be heard on 26 September 2013!

    Lillian, have you, or anyone else had notification of a date yet?


  44. Hi Gill thanks for the up-date & please post the outcome with the HMCT, I have just dealt with them & the response from them was negative also worth noting they have no powers to in enforcing their decisions. In fact I found their services to b e pointless & you may have to pursue your case with those who can overturn DWPs nonsense

  45. I’m currently at the appeal process with the Courts and Tribunal Service but as yet I don’t know when my case might be heard.

    Changing the subject slightly, some friends of mine in Spain received a letter from the DWP stating that they needed confirmation of the IBAN or BIC number of their Spanish bank for state pension payments. The strange thing was they have been receiving their pensions for many years now without any grief but the wife received this letter whilst the husband didn’t. She duly rang the DWP and gave them her IBAN number and (you guessed it) the next pension payment failed to arrive on its due date. She rang them up and found out they had completely the wrong IBAN number but their response was for her to chase her Spanish bank to find out where the money went rather than them sort it out. They also said that until they get the money back she wont see her pension.

    I’ve not received a letter yet but if I do, I want written confirmation of the IBAN number thats on their files as I’ve received my state pension without any problems so far.

    Has anyone else received a letter about bank numbers ?

  46. Hi Mike I receive my uk state pension direct to my bank here & it always arrives on time.

    Haven’t had a letter from them regarding the Iban & I expect it was on the payment details I gave them when setting up the transfer.If you have been getting your payments before I don’t know why they needed to change anything but they are in a world of their own & common sense does not apply.

  47. Chris, that’s what I don’t understand when they’ve been paying us for years into the same bank and suddenly ask for confirmation. I saw the letter my friend received and it looked genuine from the DWP so whats going on I haven’t a clue but I’m wary of the DWP messing it up or jut as bad, some clever scam being operated.

  48. Mike, your friends’ situation sounds like a scam to me! I receive my state pension every 4 weeks on a Tuesday, unless there happens to be a Fiesta day here and I have not received a letter from the DWP on that subject.

    Lillian, I hope your appeal hearing was successful! I still have a few weeks to submit further evidence before my hearing on 26 Sept, so either way, I would be interested in comparing notes and evidence submitted to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service. I can let you have my email address if you are willing to exchange correspondence, if necessary with a view to taking the matter up with the EU. The DWP have sent an ‘Additional Response’ to the Tribunal Service, which admits I claimed for the winter of 2006, but there is no mention of the EU ruling which resulted in us receiving the payment for 2012/2013.

    I look forward to your further comments.


  49. Gill, it turns out it was not a scam as my friends were with CAM bank who as you might know went bust and were taken over by Sabadell Bank. What seems to have happened is that a single digit was wrong in the IBAN number (their new bank account) but as to who got it wrong is anyone’s guess as no one is fessing up.

    The lessons to be learned are NEVER rely on word of mouth for important details like this with the DWP and do it in writing, as if it goes wrong their problem can be forced to stay their problem rather than become your problem.

    They are still waiting for the payment but have been told they’ll get it ‘soon’. Of course, the DWP can’t manage to do the WFA and Xmas payment at the same time and they’ve now had a new letter regarding IBAN for the WFA and no doubt the Xmas payment request will come later.

  50. Hi Gill
    I lost my appeal. I actually got the reply on Tuesday, 6th August, Can you ever remember getting a letter from them that quick, The hearing was on the 2nd.
    They still insist I never applied in 2005/6, they have no record, amazing they only record what they want recorded.

  51. Sorry to hear that Lillian but TBH it doesn’t surprise me in the least as my dealings with them were basically pointless, to stand any chance with them I think you have to be there in person. They state that postal cases receive less success rates than those in person, probably because they will have to face you & lose their anonymity, also you can reply directly to any questions.

    Postal or in person should not alter the results as the facts remain the same for both, but they admit that is not the case & suspect they throw most cases out because they can & you aren’t there to oppose them.

  52. Hi,

    Thanks for your replies.

    Mike, pleased your friends got their problem more or less sorted.

    Lillian, sorry you lost your appeal. Are you intending to take the matter further, ie the EU? At least the IPC are accepting that I applied in 2007, although treating it as a separate issue. I will write one more letter in response to their latest submission through the Tribunal, then wait and see what happens on 26 Sept.

    Chris, yes I agree about being there in person, but impossible for me as flights from Lanzarote so expensive and as they state they will pay travel costs to the venue, I did ask if that included a flight from here!!!!! Negative, only from where I stay in the UK.

    I will keep you up-dated and hope to hear results from anyone else who has an appeal pending.


  53. Hi again,

    My appeal for retrospective WFP is due to be heard next month and going through reams of papers the Court & Tribunal service has sent me, a new issue has surfaced.

    The DWP position not to pay is centered around the fact that they state that the previous winters back payment claims have to be made by March following that winter, in other words for the winter of 2011/2012 you have to claim by March 2012.

    Ignoring previous winters before 2011/12, I think there’s a good case for claiming WFP at least for that year (2011/12) for the simple reason the ECJ judgment was made on 21st July 2011 and it was kept under wraps by the DWP. The DWP failed to act in proactively notifying potential claimants before March 2012 and even today they haven’t made any specific press release or notified ex-pats who are unaware and would be eligible for next winters WFP.

    Additionally, the WFP back claim form WFP2(EEA)that was created specifically for ex-pats in October 2012, does not appear to exist on their web site and you’ll have to call them to get a copy.

    Accordingly, I’m submitting to the tribunal that the DWP deliberately withheld this information preventing people from claiming in time. As for previous years, that’s still up for debate.

  54. Hi Mike

    I applied for the WFP in 2007 & was refused on the grounds that I was not already receiving it in the UK before I moved to Spain & therefore would never be entitled to it unless I moved back to the UK.

    So obviously being told that I did not reapply till last year when the EU said we were entitled to it, so now we have a problem if you are trying to get back payments because they say you didn’t apply during those years.

    So what now, they say you will never be entitled to WFP while outside the UK & now it looks as though that is wrong & because of this you do not make any further claims, they now use the fact you didn’t claim to avoid back payments.

    I wish you well Mike with your case being heard at the HMCT but have to say I have absolutely no faith in them after my recent dealings with them, also be aware they have no powers whatsoever & can only make recommendations, which in my case were totally ignored by the DWP.

    Gill should be posting soon on her results & hope for a positive result, but as said I doubt this will be the case.

    There is a petition against stopping this payment on FB expats in Spain site, if none of you have voted, perhaps you would.


  55. In essence what I believe has been happening ever since the July 21st 2011 ECJ judgment, is that IDS and his ministry have gone out of their way through the DWP to block any form of retrospective payments despite the judgment being retrospective. Its certainly the case that just like some insurance companies, the DWP change the goal posts for eligibility when you’re close to meeting it.

    Just like you, years ago I thought it was worth a try to claim even though that was prior to the ECJ judgement although I didn’t think I stood a chance. My contention at the DWP appeal stage recently was to state that the new ex-pat WFP2(EEA)back payment claim form did not exist until October 2012 and therefore no time limits should be applied before then. As it would be ‘ex post facto law’ (or retrospective) to disadvantage claimants, it should be disallowed.

    They countered with some BS that the UK back payment claim form with its time limits covered all back claims even including those that could not have existed anyway for ex-pats(prior to ECJ) but certainly those after the ECJ ruling. They haven’t explained however why it was necessary to create a new back claim form for ex-pats if that UK claim form was in existence and valid for ex-pats.

    As a point of interest, I could find no record of either the UK back claim form or the WFP2(EEA) on their website (several months ago or now) and the ‘mysterious’ UK claim form they referred to was not even identified by the DWP in their counter argument. I obtained the ex-pat version WFP2(EEA) by post from the DWP after insisting I wished to claim for back payments.

    Their whole argument stands on the time limits of claiming by March for the previous winters up to 2010/2011 despite our non eligibility before July 21st 2011 (ECJ judgment), and afterwards for winter of 2011/12 because we didn’t fill in the ex-pat claim form WFP2(EEA) which they failed to create and distribute in time.

    As they say, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet for me and if it goes against me, I’m off to an EU fall back position to lodge a complaint against the UK government.

  56. Hi All,

    I haven’t had the results of my appeal, which was held last Friday, yet. If I haven’t heard anything by this Friday I intend to call them as sometimes the mail to Lanzarote can take weeks.

    Chris, I have signed the FB online petition.

    Will keep you up-dated!


  57. Just got a letter from the Tribunal service and my appeal has been put back to the 2nd week in December. I guess there’s a lot of people fighting the DWP over various issues.

  58. Well, I received a letter dated 26 September on 8 October, from Social Security and Child Support Appeals, re my INCOME SUPPORT appeal! Enclosing a ‘First-Tier Decision’ that “the appeal is refused”. No reason given, but lengthy notes attached, summarised below, that I can appeal to the ‘Upper Tribunal’ on the basis:

    “The Tribunal applied the law incorrectly

    The Tribunal conducted the proceedings in the breach of proper procedures

    The Tribunal failed to give adequate reasons for its decision.

    The first step in applying for permission to appeal is to apply, in writing, for a statement of reasons for the Tribunal’s decision. The statement will be written by the Judge that decided your case”.

    I have, tonight written a letter requesting all of the above and querying whether, in fact, that the decision was just ‘rubber stamped’ by a Judge, without reading all the documentation in view of the fact that they refer to ‘My Income Support Appeal’ etc.

    The IPC have accepted that I applied in 2007, so I suspect that again this is just delaying tactics.

    Will keep you up-dated and look forward to hearing how you get on with your appeal in December Mike.


  59. Rather worrying that the tribunal was referring to INCOME SUPPORT when I believe your case was all about WFP like the rest of us. Sounds that they’re not that bright or the DWP confused them in an attempt bury the appeal. Its also worries me that no decision for rejecting the appeal was given as I would have thought that was the whole point to get a new ruling no matter which way it went but with reasons given.

  60. Exactly Mike! Re Lillian’s post of 10 August, she seems to have been given a reason ie, the IPC had no record of her application in 2005/06 but as they have accepted that I applied in 2006/2007 I suspect that have not yet come up with a reason for rejecting my appeal so it is just delaying tactics due to their contradictory statement when sending out forms for previous years, only to reject the claims that the applications should have been sent by the end of March for the relevant years and they haven’t worked out how to deal with people who did apply for previous years.

    Anyway, I sent my letter by certificado post today and will have to wait and see!

  61. What we should do it leave the EU, kick all the 600,000 foreign benefit spongers out of the UK and we could then double your WFA. The UK is being bled dry. The EU tells us to keep paying for everyone that lands on our shores. Book a few plane loads every day, handcuff them to their seats and send them back. If you want all of this money you have to accept how we can pay for it. I walked down a rundown Town Centre yesterday in the South East. The last time I went to this place was 6 months ago and it is worse now than ever. You should see the people sitting around drinking cans of lager, staggering around, the tatty clothes they are wearing, mostly foreigners. I won’t say what I really think as it won’t get printed but all these drunken claiming benefit foreigners, send them packing and the deficit will be sorted in no time. I know we have our own benefit claimants but if you can get rid of a few hundred thousand we won’t have to keep penny pinching from the over 60’s… More of these lot are arriving every day. The EU has too many poor countries in it, time to leave.

  62. I think there’s only two options here as regards welfare benefits for UK citizens and that should mean where ever they live. You either (a) leave the EU so you can cherry pick who gets benefits or not and in this case it would be UK citizens only, or preferably (b) cut back the benefit system for all and making it less attractive for foreign benefit scroungers. Additionally demand 5 years of contributions of NI/Tax prior to being given eligibility for benefits or alternatively pay a 50k refundable deposit and after 5 years in work you get it back. The EU rules can easily be got around if crafted carefully to make it unattractive for freeloaders to come to the UK and get the same benefits that most UK citizens have paid for.

  63. Sieg Heil Reap! send THEM packing… Bet it made you so angry walking around England with FOREIGNERS all around you. Maybe if you’re an immigrant when/if you’re here, Spain should send YOU packing?

    BTW, immigrants, migrants (or foreigners?) contribute MORE to the UK economy than they take out.

  64. I’m quite happy to see any immigrant coming to the UK provided they’re not a free loaders.

    Funny thing is, all of us ex-pat pensioners who decided to emigrate to Spain contribute enormously to the Spanish economy whilst costing Spain nothing. Its a win-win situation for the UK and Spain with Brits who emigrate because the ONLY services we benefit from is health care which is paid for by the UK government and additionally it costs the UK far less than it would if we still lived in the UK.

    Contrast this with one immigrant who comes into the UK with many dependents. He’s eligible for housing benefit, child support, job seekers if he loses his job PLUS there’s the enormous costs of health care for the complete family, education for his kids and in many cases, free translators. In contrast, we rightly have to pay for a translator in Spain or learn the language.

    Its a very simple fiscal issue, why should ANYONE be automatically be given access to a vast range of free services and benefits without contributing anything at all. I make NO distinction between UK natural born citizens or immigrants. No other country hands out freebies like the UK does and the UK can’t afford it.

    Australia has tough immigration rules which are quite reasonable to prevent tax payers bearing the heavy burden of mass immigration. Their rules use fiscal methods to control immigration and to ensure only those who give to the country can receive back from the country unlike the UK.

    I fail to see anything wrong with this approach.

  65. Its a shame that honest debate about the welfare costs in the UK has degenerated into name calling of the Gordon Brown variety when those comments were nothing more than rather forthright fiscal observations. Those with opposing views can challenge it if they disagree or ignore it if uncomfortable with the truth, but at least be honest about it. The real discrimination here is against ex-pats who dared leave the UK and are seen as a soft target by IDS to save a few million by excluding us.

    To call it racist to question benefit handouts to all is incorrect and a slur. Having many friends in the Indian community in England as well as inviting them to Spain, I’d certainly dispute that I’m in anyway racist. I’m a ‘fiscalist’ who doesn’t like the fact that too many people in the UK are milking the system both legally and illegally. As I apply that yardstick to everyone whatever their colour, race or creed, I’d hardly call it racist.

    Call me uncaring for wanting to remove benefits from any of the undeserving and I’ll put my hand up, but insinuations of racism, never.

  66. I agree with Mike. BTW, my Wife is not from Europe and she works and has never claimed a penny and I have lived in Spain and I never claimed a penny. Like Mike states, UK pensioners are contributing to Spain, keeping local businesses going. Economically and space wise, hospital space etc we in the UK have no more room, especially for scroungers. The WFA and many other items are being cut to pay the benefit system people of which hundreds of thousands are coming here just to claim it and in some cases with several identities. It is out of control and something will have to change unless we want £2 trn of debt very soon. Mine is an economical argument, don’t twist it.

  67. Is it “fascist” to say that immigration cannot be unlimited and has to have a limit? Can immigration just continue, unchecked? Can you answer that point perhaps, Roger?

    Btw, fascism and racism are quite separate things, and do not always overlap. It is not racist, or facist, to say immigration cannot be indefinite. It is common sense that with unlimited immigration any given country will not be able to cope.

  68. You need to read Reap’s comment again Fredtroll.
    Der.. of course immigration anywhere has to be sensibly controlled (Only you said unlimited immigration?! HAHA what?…). Reap would ‘have them all packing’ though, where immigration has always been a benefit (suppose not best word in this argument) to the uk.

    Just saying phrases like that is what I’d expect from the EDL.

  69. Roger, I hardly think that Reap’s description of ‘spongers’ is racist or even ‘facist’ as it clearly suggests many immigrants come specifically to the UK for free handouts. After all, the streets are paved with ‘gold’ compared to the disease ridden hell holes some of them come from. Just the last week a bunch of Syrians were protesting at Calais port and telling the French police to send them to the UK because the benefits are plenty. Intelligent people rightly say the country can no longer be the dumping ground for the worlds displaced given its size but that’s not racist. We have enough of our own spongers to deal with !

    Lets see, we already have areas around ‘killingdon’ hospital where TB is a clear and present danger due to it being a dumping ground for immigrants landing at Heathrow. Then we have the much higher incidence of AIDs from Africa thanks to previous mass immigration policies.

    If you bother to do a little research surfing the internet, there’s plenty of government figures showing the negative and costly effects that previous immigration policies have caused.

    I was born in South London and it’s a fact that when I’ve returned there in recent years, its a sad depressing place for the most part caused by an influx of alien cultures that are divisive rather than inclusive and a general deterioration of UK morals & community spirit.

    No one has proved any economic case for mass immigration where fiscal contribution outweighs fiscal cost. That is why countries like Oz and NZ use fiscal rules before allowing anyone in as they’ve seen the disaster that is the UK.

    Our ex-pat benefits are at risk here precisely because of the costs incurred by mass immigration in the UK. Having contributed 42 years to the system I expect to get some pay back but when spongers of any nationality can claim for all and sundry without paying a penny, something is very wrong here.

  70. Didn’t mention racism. There was a cracking brand of fascism in Spain not so long ago. That didn’t involve racism, just violence employing hatred across a political divide.

  71. As I said before, its a pity some posters are incapable of debating the facts under discussion but try and change the subject instead. With a single skill like this they should really be at Westminster !

  72. Roger, I would not be paying the immigrants a penny in benefits unless they have paid into the system for x years, all the things Mike has said before in his eloquent post above. I did not say I would send all immigrants back as I would have to send my Wife back as well. I would make this Country an unattractive place for people who want to come here for an easy life on benefits. Where I live it is a great place, but the experience that Mike talks about in South London is moving to other areas. Even if the UK did miss out on business by not being in the EU I think it would become a better place to live. We are powerless to state how many people we want to live in the Country. Of course we need many immigrants working but we should be able to say who gets benefits and if they have no job and not paid into the system then they should be sent packing if they have no means to support themselves. Roger, it is people like you that got us into this mess in the first place and I am afraid you are in the minority and the only people that think like you are the ones who claim benefits and are ultra left wing.

  73. stefanjo,
    a bit surprised at your comments but Roger lives in a theoretical world that has no consequences like in the real world.

    An ideal population for the UK is around 9-11 million, that means a population that is entirely sustainable from it’s own resources. Had population control been implemented towards the end of the 19th century we would not have fished out our waters, used up all the best coal deposits or pumped out most of our oil (via foreign operators) @ $10 p/b.

    Right now 65% of the food consumed in the UK is imported – what happens when Sterling goes down the toilet as it surely will – it’s been losing value against other currencies all my life.

    When we lived in Galicia and decided to visit all parts of that region we stayed at a pension in Santiago that was run by a Galician that had worked and saved hard in London. We asked him if he had enjoyed his time in london and he said he had and ahd many Brit friends. He said there was only one thing he did’nt like and that was “too many foreigners, there were too many areas where the English felt like foreigners and that’s not right” – straight from the mouth of a foreigner.

    I have a good friend who is Dutch, a Freislander actually. He said that 5% of the population were buitenlanders/foreigners and that the Dutch did’nt want anymore. When I told him that 20% of the UK population had not been born there he was amazed that Brits would stand for that “because the Dutch certainly would not”.

    There are whole boroughs in London which are totally foreign. many of these refuse to assimilate to our values – honour killings, women treated as third class. Sweat shops operated as in Bangladesh, renting out garages for their own illegal immigrants to live in.

    None of that should be happening. Population control – many Moslem and Catholic families have as many children as they can – God will provide. No sky pixie provides anything – it is this planet that provides and what it can provide is finite.

    I now live in France and the ordinary French are worried for the future of their country since the Arab influx with their 8-10 children means that within a generation they will be the minority in their own country – hence the support for the National Front.

    Who really benefits from mass immigration – the elite. Of course these immigrants will work for less that the locals – bigger profit margins for the greedy.

    If the UK was in any way democratic, it would be up to all the British people to decide policies and right now polls are being conducted which show that overwhelmingly the ordinary Brits have had enough.

    The fools who talk about economic benefits can’t see as far as the end of their big noses – whose going to pay all the pension/health and childcare costs of these immigrants.

    If you want to have immigrants in the country – you pay their expenses, you house them and feed them.

    There is a very simple question to ask yourselves – is business a function of society or is society a function of business – the answer of course is simple and that is why mass immigration has been allowed, same in Germany and France.

    The question that is never asked is – has the quality of life improved or been made worse for the indigenous population?

    As for Roger’s stupid comment about expats in Spain – I knew what Andalucia was like in the 60’s – desperately poor, zero facilities like running water or sewage systems and most Andalucians had to emigrate just to survive.

    Roger there are whole villages that were abandoned – they now have people – foreigners who have revived them by pumping money into the local economies.

    If the Spanish are stupid enough (and many are) they will drive out the foreigners and the whole Med economy will collapse. You see Roger – the northern Europeans/Scandinavians bring money into the country – they don’t send it home, drive down wages or demand social housing.

    I was brought up in a town that always had a reasonable number of foreigners, especially Jewish and Polish refugees. These people were genuine refugees – not economic migrants and greatly enriched the town, indeed one of the best mayors that Brighton ever had was Henry Cohen who started the Alliance Building society – he would weep at what has happened to his creation and to Brighton in general.

    It does seem as if some posters have never left uni and still spout the same immature b/s from their youth.

  74. O.K. Stuart, as it’s you, I’ll elaborate. As we know, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. The latter can be shuffled around to prove almost anything. A great proponent of this skill was Herr Goebbels. When statistics are allied to emotive language such as,”mass immigration spreading T.B. and Aids.” “Staggering drunken foreigners.” “Handcuff them to their plane seats.” “Foreign benefit spongers.” “Freeloaders.” Then, that is a recipe for untrammelled fascism.
    U.K.I.P. would be delighted with these opinions. May I gently remind expats how exposed they would be outside the E.U. It may well be the case that the U.K. will leave, given the much-vaunted promised referendum. But have a referendum on capital punishment, and hanging and flogging would return. That doesn’t mean it’s right. What disturbs me in this discussion is the lack of humanity and compassion.
    We used to have something called “refugees”. They are now dubbed “illegal asylum seekers”.
    This thread concerned two hundred quid a year that a poxy Tory admin. are trying to cut. Bet I.D.S. is rubbing his claws seeing that “Aliens” are taking the rap for his dark manoeuvres. Of course, controls on immigration, benefits and fiddling are required, no argument. But widen the view and keep the real villains in sight, bankers, politicians, big tax avoiders, food adulterators, privatisers of national assets (water, power, N.H.S. trains, to name a few) criminal nuclear-power proselytisers, carbon junkies. The list is huge. It’s lazy and wrong to point the finger at life’s unfortunates.
    It would be a fools paradise to believe that funds saved on “misdirected” benefits, would then go to the “more deserving.” Once clawed back, they are never returned to anyone.

  75. Stuart are you confusing me with someone else? haha. I detest any form of discrimination, but at the same time all for any sensible immigration policies in any country, just not too into tarring a race with the same brush as Reap did when he sees and gets angry by a few drunk foreigners in the uk. Reap’s comments were out of order.

    Might be good to read back Stuart and start your comment again?

  76. Stefano – Emotive language it may be but that doesn’t make it a lie. TB was pretty much extinct in the UK from 1950’s onwards after centuries of this disease. Then 40 years later it re-appeared after mass immigration from third world countries began. The reasons are very clear and thats because their health care was virtually non existent unlike the UK’s. HIV/AIDs is similar and with countries like Zimbabwe which have no programs to control that scourge, its almost at epidemic levels. Neither of these valid health concerns are fiction or emotive and are well documented among by the world health organization. It takes a strange form of response to describe these sorts of facts as being fascist comments. By your definition, ALL facts that you object to, but haven’t disagreed with, could be called fascist comments.

    There’s many an expat living outside the EAA and they feel exactly the same as EU ex-pats and especially that perverse situation where ex-pats in America for instance get cost of living rises on their pensions but not if they live across the border in Canada. Compassion is for genuine refugees and not for economic refugees looking for a freebie. Sadly the system is being abused weekly by sham marriages, couples claiming to be gay and being persecuted in their country of birth and all manner of other scams. As the expression goes, ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’. Too many fraudsters have killed the golden goose and the country can no longer afford to fund immigrants at the levels we’ve had recently.

    I do however agree with your comments about bankers as in my book most top bankers are nothing more than financial pimps who can’t even provide a useful service. Likewise, all the other usual suspects you’ve named need to be sanctioned hard but the discussion here was about WFA and then benefits for those that didn’t deserve them and hadn’t paid a penny into the system.

    In the area of immigration, one persons definition of discrimination will be anothers sensible immigration controls. That’s why I always bring it down to the fiscal level of who is going to pay for immigration of families with many dependents. That removes the emotive element from any argument and its a simple cost / benefit analysis that can’t be disputed.

    Currently there are 600,000 unemployed EU migrants in the UK costing the NHS around £1.5?billion compared to France, where their health costs from migrants is a paltry £3.4 million. That UK figure does not include non EU migrants (legal and illegal) and nor does it include education, job seekers allowance or housing costs.

    Emotions do NOT pay for these costs and neither do politicians or wet liberals. If they did, perhaps they’d have a different outlook on mass immigration.

  77. Hi All,

    Yesterday I received a ‘Statement of Reasons for Decision’ from the ‘First Tier Tribunal’, which I will type below. I will not type the notes as basically my next option is to appeal to a judge for permission to apply to the ‘Upper Tribunal’ and how to do it. I wondered if you, Mike, or anyone else has any comments and/or constructive advice before I write my next letter?


    This statement is to be read together with the decision notice issued by the Tribunal

    1. The appellant appealed against the decision that she was not entitled to WFP for the winters 2007 to 2011 inclusive beecause she did not claim within the prescribed time limits. The prescribed time limit for claiming for the winter of 2007 was before 31 March 2008. The time limit for claiming in respect of the winters 2008 to 2011 was before 31 March in each of the years following a respective winter.

    2. The appellant left the UK to live in Spain on 28 April 2005. She was not ordinarily resident in the UK in the qualifying week following her 60th birthday and was not entitled to receive WFP. On 28 December 2007 it was decided that the appellant was not entitled to a WFP for 2006. The appellant appealed that decision and the appeal was disallowed by an Appeal Tribunal.

    3. In December 2012 the appellant submitted a claim for the winter of 2012. That was allowed. On 14 March 2013 the appellant made a claim for WFP for the winters 2006 to 2011.

    4. On the introduction of the WFP a person had to be aged 60 or over and in receipt of a qualifying benefit in order to qualify for the benefit. Following the decision of the European Court in the case of Stewart the requirement to be ordinarily resident in the UK during a relevant qualifying week could no longer be applied. It was sufficient if a claimant could demonstrate a genuine and sufficient link to the UK in order to claim the benefit.

    5. This decision did not affect UK domestic law. Under UK domestic law no person shall be entitled to any benefit unless a claim for the benefit is made in the manner and within the time limits prescribed by law. For WFP the time limit prescribed is that the claim must be received before 31 March following the qualifying week in respect of the winter following that week. The appellant’s claims for the winters 2007 to 2011 inclusive were made on 14 March 2013. Those claims were therefore made outside the time limit for claiming and the appellant is not entitled to a WFP for the winters 2007 to 2011 inclusive.

    6. The appellant elected for the appeal to be dealt with on the papers. The Tribunal considered Rules 2 and 27 of the Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008. There was sufficient information in the appeal papers to enable the appeal to be determined in the absence of appellant and it was in the interests of justice to do so.

    The above is a statement of reasons for the Tribunal’s decision under rule 34 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal)(Social Entitlement Chamber)Rules 2008.

    Signed by Judge K R Souter”

    Incidentally, the covering letter again referred to my Income Support Appeal!!!!

    So, any advice please?


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