A CAMPAIGNING expat has launched a petition after the UK government axed the Winter Fuel Allowance in Spain.

Maureen Andrews, 62, is furious that she will be losing the allowance with her village of Canillas de Aceituno, in the Axarquia, regularly seeing temperatures drop to zero degrees in winter.

She will no longer get the allowance of €250, which rises to €380 for over 80s, from September.

A new ‘temperature test’ will see subsidies cut in countries where the average annual temperature is higher than the UK’s warmest region – the South West – at 5.6 degrees.

Andrews, from Sutton Coldfield, has now launched the petition after being ‘incensed’ by secretary of state Iain Duncan Smith’s claim that it was ‘absurd and offensive’ for expats to receive an allowance.

“The pensions secretary seems to think we are wealthy pensioners living it up in Marbella,” she said.

“In reality we use the Winter Fuel Allowance to buy wood to heat our houses to keep warm, we do not go throwing it around in bars and fancy restaurants.

“It can get very cold here at night in winter.”

She continued that after her husband Bill paid UK national insurance for 46 years he should be allowed to choose where he lives on retirement.

“This is an entitlement for pensioners and it should remain – regardless of where we choose to live,” Andrews said.

And it would appear that many share her view.

In its first week, the petition addressed to 10 Downing Street has gathered 568 signatures.

It was posted on the Facebook page of the Axarquia Local Info Group.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Andrews added.

New fuel allowance restrictions are expected to cut the UK’s costs from €29.5 million to €9 million.

To sign the petition visit: www.rivoice.net/petitions/expats-to-lose-winter-fuel-allowance-in-spain-and-other-european-countries.html


  1. Petitions need to reach 100,000 before Government consider them.

    Don’t totally agree with pensioners should be allowed to draw WFA irrespective of where they choose to live despite having paid NI etc, supposing they lived in the tropics, no need for heating allowance there unless it’s changed to Air Con Allowance. Any petition needs thinking through properly before making certain statements.

  2. It has been said elsewhere but bears repeating. When the administration brought in W.F.A. it was in response to indignation about the paltry State Pension. Instead of raising it by a useful amount, say, a fiver a week, they instead dished out a universal, non-means tested, untaxed yearly lump sum of two hundred quid to all over-sixties. Ex-Pats, hot or cold, are entitled to view this sum as part of their State Pension, which in fact it is, disguised as Government largesse.

  3. The winters may not be as cold here in costa brava as in England, but we certainly need central heating and the price of oil is twice the price in England. We have just paid 85pence a litre. My husband worked and paid for 47years in England. They are not going to give us the increase in pension in 2016,they could at least let us keep the fuel allowance it is a really big help to us.

  4. We may not have the coldest of winters in catalunia but we certainly need the central heating.Oil is twice the price to what it is in England. My husband worked and paid for 47years in England. We are not going to be included in the extra new pension in 2016, so they really should allow what little we get to help the fuel bill. It costs us €1000 almost to fill our 1000 litre tank, we have just paid 85cents per Litre.


      I would like to send you the legal Memorandum I have sent to Work and Pensions Committee.

      It is a PDF. Please send your email address.

      It is a new line of research based on statute law and the law of equity.

  5. for years ex-pats in spain have been whinging that some get WFA and not others.This included approaches to the european authorities.Now they have their way and nobody is going to get it.Probably the fuss that was being made caught the attention of some bean counter in whitehall who hadnt been aware that we were receiving it so he got some brownie points for saving the government money.
    The wfa is not part of our pension but an add on to assist pensioners in dire straits who could suffer from hypothermia in a severe winter.
    I do not believe that there are pensioners living in spain that are in danger of hypothermia and I dont see that we have an absolute right to receive it

  6. If it was an “add on to assist pensioners in dire straits”. How come it wasn’t means-tested as are council tax and housing benefit? The truth is, it was cheaper than a much-needed boost to the State Pension and easier to snatch back when it suited vote-grabbers.
    Cold, hard-up pensioners aren’t “whingers”. That is a most insulting description of which you should be ashamed John.

  7. Stefanjo WFA was originally means tested it was altered due to discussions between the UK Gov’t and the EEC. In time it will quite likely be removed for all pensioners other than those proven to be in dire straits and on low incomes. The concentration should be on all those especially wealthy pensioners who claim it but really don’t need it. It is a misconception that people have paid into it all their lives, it was only introduced in 1997 as an add-on.

    Whichever party gets is elected in the UK, they will no doubt halt various extras for all groups, however they should again target overseas aid to countries who have space programmes etc!

  8. If anything is absurd and offensive,it is Iain Duncan Smith. We are the people who have paid our contributions all our working lives. And we are easy targets ,because we are deemed powerless by the likes of IDS. My last electric heating bill was 568 euros for 2months.. This winter has been very cold. My wife is currently under going chemo, and is very vulnerable. There are many people who have chosen to live abroad in the same position. So much for the European Union. Yours.Robert Bremner.

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