15 Jan, 2015 @ 10:00
1 min read

Winter ‘cruel’ allowance

CAMPAIGNING: Maureen and Bill Andrews

PLANS to cut the winter fuel allowance to elderly expats living in warmer climates are an outrage.

To assess whether or not pensioners – most of whom have paid their taxes throughout their working lives – need to heat their homes in winter based on an average annual temperature is madness.

Yes it’s hot here in summer, but anyone in Spain can attest to the fact that temperatures fall rapidly in winter… in the inland hills to frequently well below zero.

And with homes lacking proper insulation, these British pensioners should not be frozen out.

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


Rob Horgan

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  1. There’s already a thread on your website with large number of interesting arguments both ways though most of those who want it retained are not current British taxpayers, those who have to fund it!

  2. John, I am actually a British resident/taxpayer as of March 2013. After spending 20 years in Estepona I also know how flaming cold it can be during the winter!

  3. ‘flaming cold’ says Paellataffy, an excellent oxymoron if ever, Lol

    It can be blooming cold in the UK too, don’t forget old Blighty who introduced the WFA for pensioners there. In coastal Southern Spain it’s nearly always milder/warmer than UK we are told by those who live there permanently, and by those agents trying to sell the ‘dream home in the sun’. Maybe their marketing should change to ‘can be exceptionally cold in Spanish winters’ etc etc!

  4. Stefanjo look at the other thread for fuller answers. Just because you paid in doesn’t mean you have an automatic to take out. Taxation is not a savings scheme. If you live in the UK then you will still receive the allowance – for the moment. If you leave then bye bye, ask the Spanish for help

    Paellataffy, go home then. You made a mistake

    I’ve had an apartment on the CDS for 28 years and just to antagonise you
    a) financially I don’t need the allowance, and
    b) I get the allowance though I’m usually in Spain for January not paying to heat my UK home

    I am a loser, a lot more than I care to be, but not in this case. For example my wife and I lost a fortune through the Equitable Life demise and suffer from the decimation of our pension funds by Gordon Brown.

    Winners and losers…..that’s life, and decision making

    • Taxation may not be “a savings scheme,” but National Insurance is and that’s what was supposed to pay for these things but as usual, it all gets chucked in the same old pot and troughed by the likes of impecunious bankers and warmongers etc.

  5. Some facts needed here!

    World Weather Online source. Combine the average daily high and low for Estepona from Nov to April and the temperature averages at 15.33 centigrade, (however the lowest night time low occurs in Jan at 11 centigrade) so pretty damn good.

    Now for England using the same source and method, Nov to April temperature average is 5.65 centigrade (however the lowest night time low is 1.1 centigrade) so pretty damn cold and well worthy of WFA.

    So Estepona on temperature alone well exceeds the WFA qualifying table, irrespective of whether people have paid in all their lives or not.

    Asked earlier but no-one answered, if you take up citizenship in another country upon leaving Blighty, should you be entitled to everything you get in Blighty such as WFA, Bus Passes, Child Allowance, UK Social Security benefits (as opposed to Spanish Social)? Where do you draw the line once you’ve left and become a citizen elsewhere?

  6. John Simpson: ”just to antagonise you
    a) financially I don’t need the allowance”, that comes across as so crass, I am Mr Loadsamoney! Yes, some have done well for themselves but I don’t need the WFA because I am loaded, nothing wrong with being wealthy and having done well but ”just to antagonise you” do you think we are envious because you don’t need £200 a year or whatever the sum is. I think you are up your own xxxx.

  7. Yes you could be right, apologies for that. Blame the meds for it. Put it down as well to irritation that so many want everything provided for them even if others have to foot the bill.
    Those allowances and others need to be for British residents living in Britain, with British fuel costs, who can ill afford to help themselves through misfortune, not to sub those who could have saved and didn’t and especially not those who jumped ship for a ‘better’ life, whatever the mean temperatures are elsewhere. Finding out who those are is plagued by those who object to a means test and see it as such an invasion of privacy

    There are a lot of very upset people, for instance, who have paid enormous NIC contributions who have found their pension dates pushed out for up to 6 years at a time when getting a new job at 60 or 65 to fill the void is virtually impossible. They have found little sympathy from the Minister for Pensions who merely says he has made hard decisions to build up the pot to pay for future pensions at threat because of demographics and, basically, tough luck. On the other hand there are those who have paid for several years more than the threshold to be entitled to a pension. They’re not happy either.

  8. You have to run a nit-comb through the benefits you mention Mike. Bus passes only apply in local areas where you come from anyway, trips paid by your local council tax. Most work-based benefits, you need to jump through work-seeking hoops to qualify for. You don’t jump, you don’t get. Disability allowance, well, does it matter where you are when disabled? Child allowance should have been means-tested from the start, but that would have cost more than making it universal. The real key to your question is that word Citizenship. At what point do you surrender your British passport and become a full-blown citizen of another country? But then of course, we are all citizens of the E.U. and that entitles us to other privileges. The one thing for sure, is if you’ve paid for it, you should get it. There. Clear as mud!

  9. Hey Mike,
    it may come as a surprise to you but not all Brits live in Estepona, did you not realise this? Also it’s not for you to decide who should or should not receive benefits. A very simple answer put to the people – you know like real democracies do, to decide the this issue.

    Stefanjo – why should it cost more to means test those who should or should’nt receive child benefit. Every other European has identity cards, so any info needed about a person can be found on a national data base. How much fraud would be avoided (bad for lawyers) if an identity card had to be produced for all financial transactions

  10. Just to clear up one point, all Brits living permanently in Spain are British citizens (even if Spanish resident) and they have paid into the UK tax system all their working lives. Many, depending on what type of pension they have, are still paying into the UK tax system.

    I think the thing that really get peoples’ goat is the fact that so much of our money goes on things like overseas aid, paying for migrant detention centres in Calais etc. and yet they decide to cut the WFA for people living in Spain. Whatever point of view one may have, it does seem very spiteful.

  11. @Stefanjo Surprised at your lack of knowledge here.

    You state ‘if you’ve paid for it, you should get it’ followed by weird comment. Wrong! Where do you think Brits pay for it, National Insurance for example? NI pays for basic state pension, Additional State pension for Class 1, New State pension, Job seekers allowance, contribution based employment & support allowances, maternity allowance, bereavement benefits. Clear as mud.

    WFA announced in 1997 and originally not payable to people resident abroad, (this was changed in 2002 agreed by European Commission and UK Gov), but not to those who left Britain before 1999.

    Now the Government can and does change the rules, as they reduced WFA in 2011-12 and WFA is paid to those living in an EEA country, not Australia, Canada etc etc in both cases how does this affect your current argument, did you argue for these groups previously?

    To qualify you had to be born before 05/07/52 or when you reach State Pension age (getting longer all the time) WFA was also originally for people on means tested benefits so it seems to be a generous move by Government to encompass those who were not on this benefit.

    Governments change rules constantly, this is just another of those cases. Either get used to change or petition Government. There!

  12. @ Stuart Crawford If you read my post you will see I mention Estepona in answer to Paella Taffy’s post, (it could apply to all the Costas and elsewhere) do keep up old chap. Also, I am not deciding who receives WFA the UK Government is and I am presenting some of the missing facts. Deciding the issue you say, well why not petition the Government if you need WFA? Again do keep up!

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