We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The winter fuel allowance is used by around 12 million vulnerable people each year costing the Treasury almost £2billion. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered an economic recession in Britain with GDP contracting by a record 20.4 percent in the second financial quarter. However, a poll of more than 7,000 Express.co.uk readers has found the overwhelming majority believe the Government should not target the fuel allowance.
The survey conducted between 8.30pm on Friday August 21 and 11.30am on Saturday August 22, asked 7,792 Express.co.uk readers “should Boris Johnson scrap the winter fuel allowance for pensioners?”
A huge 90 percent (7,008) of readers said the scheme should continue and voted no.
Just nine percent (714) said the benefit should be axed and voted yes.
Meanwhile just one percent (70) remained unsure and said they did not know.
A number of passionate readers let their feelings known in the comments section of this website.
One user said: “Yet another erosion of pensioners benefits if this goes ahead.
“People forget that most have put in over 40 years of work to qualify for this and other benefits.”
A second reader said: “Treat the elderly even more poorly than they are already treated? No, treat them better, they deserve it.”
A third commented: “Fuel, transport & TV licences should be free.”
Meanwhile a fourth added: “Leave our pensioners alone.”
The winter fuel allowance hands pensioners an annual tax-free payment of up to £300 during the winter to help with vital heating bills.
To be entitled you must be born on or before October 5, 1954, and be living in the UK for at least one day during the “qualifying week” – which this year will be September 21-27.
If you are aged between 65 and 80, and live alone, you will receive £200, if you live with someone who qualifies, you will receive £100 each, if you live in a care home and do not receive certain benefits, you will also receive £100.
Those who are aged over 80 and live alone will receive £300, if you live with someone who also qualifies and is under the age of 80, you’ll get £200.
If the qualifying person is over the age of 80, you will receive £150, and if you live in a care home and do not receive certain benefits, you will also receive £150.
The debate on the winter fuel allowance – introduced by Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown in 1997 – comes after the free BBC-TV licence was axed for the over-75s.
Only those receiving pension credit will not have to pay the £157.50 annual fee after the broadcaster said it could no longer afford the costs.
Brexit LIVE: EU splits laid bare in trade talks amid no deal threat [LIVE]
UK quarantine measures are a total punishment, says JUDY FINNIGAN [COMMENT]
Met Office forecast: Sunny weather returns after Storm Ellen exit [FORECAST]
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director said: “It is vital that older people are warm at home in the winter as cold can have a devastating effect on their health.
“For millions of older people the winter fuel payment provides much needed extra cash to help them feel able to turn up the heating when is it is cold.
“As such it is a vital weapon against cold-related illnesses such as heart-attacks and strokes and it helps to avoid premature deaths.
“There’s no doubt that if they have to resort to using it to buy a TV licence it means an older person will be putting themselves at greater risk of cold-related ill health.”
Source: Read Full Article