More than 100,000 retired expats to lose winter fuel allowance
In a move that many disgruntled UK citizens will see as common sense the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, announced that more than 100,000 expat pensioners will lose their winter fuel allowance.
The chancellor unveiled the plans to restrict elderly Britons living in warmer countries from claiming the benefit worth up to £300 a year at his latest spending review.
“People in hot countries will no longer get it. It is, after all a payment for winter fuel. We will act to ensure that we will stop the cost of paying the Winter Fuel Payments made to those living abroad rising in a way that no one ever intended. Paying out even more money to people of all nationalities who may have worked in this country years ago but no longer liv here is not a fair use of the nation’s cash.” the chancellor told parliament.
In the UK there has been growing controversy over the benefits that pensioners receive regardless of their wealth.
Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that the fuel allowance would be protected until 2015; the chancellor however has other ideas. In his bid to save cash and cut the UK’s massive deficit Osborne hopes to stop the £2 million that gets sent abroad every week to expats claiming welfare.
It is expected that pensioners living in European countries, who can currently claim a range of benefits, will lose winter fuel payments if they live in a region with a higher average winter temperature than the warmest region of the UK.
This system would disqualify an estimated 120,000 people and save £30 million a year after 2015/16, when it is expected to come into force.