MSE News: Winter fuel payments cut in secret Budget measure

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  • Marisco
    Marisco Posts: 42,036 Forumite
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    Why do people assume that if you have no private pension or savings, that you are !!!!less or a waster??? I've heard this argument many times, but they fail to take into account that years ago, people did not earn enough TO save, and many places did not offer private pensions! Also women who are now in their 70/80's very often did not work, and never worked as they were "housewives", so did not build up any NI.

    Many are attributing traits of "today", to how things were in the 40/50's, which were very different. The old people of today worked a dammed sight harder than people do now! Personally, I'm all in favour of means testing, that way money will go to those who really need it.
  • Jennifer_Jane
    Jennifer_Jane Posts: 3,237 Forumite
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    edited 25 March 2011 at 3:19PM
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    Just personal (but so many of the comments are anecdotal: 'The people in my road' etc). I have part of the BSP and a small Company pension and would qualify for a small amount of pension credit on income. But I do have some savings which push me above the pension credit limit - lucky me - but this is being held for a better house market when there will be sufficient interest in housebuying for me to downsize to a more expensive area where my family (brother and sister) are. I'll need the savings for that.

    So am very very grateful for the winter fuel payment and consider that it certainly does help heat the house even though I switch regularly, get cashback, pay by dd etc.

    My one comment about removing the £50, however, is the political capital that will be made, as David Cameron was clearly asked this time last year about whether the fuel payment would remain for pensioners. I think he needs to watch his back with this one.
  • Mrs_Arcanum
    Mrs_Arcanum Posts: 23,976 Forumite
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    Locally they raised £17,000 from Winter fuel payments to the better off pensioners being donated to help those pensioners in fuel poverty. Gazette link
    Truth always poses doubts & questions. Only lies are 100% believable, because they don't need to justify reality. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Labyrinth of the Spirits
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    DUKE wrote: »
    I'm sure it would work out cheaper for the government to pay one winter fuel bill for the elderly rather than dole out hundreds of pounds in cash payments. Seeing as this payment gets sent out around Christmas time I very much doubt that it gets spent on fuel.

    Errrr, mine didn't last year. Or at least, not on fuel at this house. Most of it went to help my GDs. One was saving for a car - she's been taking taxis to get her to her part-time job in a home shopping centre at 5 am. The other never has much to spare, and always welcomes help with any extra unplanned cost. I think she counts as a low-paid worker, for the council, and all their jobs are under scrutiny. I don't do Christmas presents any more.

    I've argued for a long time that all the little freebies - bus pass, TV licence etc - should be targeted at those in real need. I don't doubt that there are such people and I don't begrudge them any help that they get. I just don't like the assumption that we are all poor and needy, as in the very emotive illustrations you usually see - a woman sitting with hands held out to a one-bar electric fire. However, I have to be careful not to appear 'patronising' which is what I've been accused of on the over-50s board.

    We are not at the other end of the wealth spectrum as some of the people described here, 4 weeks in Australia or a winter cruise to the Caribbean! We're not rich but neither are we poor, and we think that's the best place to be.

    However, I don't see the argument that paying by direct debit costs more. We get a discount for paying by DD and that applies to everything. Most of our normal household payments go out on the first of the month and that can be a big weight off the mind. I couldn't conceive of what some people still insist on doing - drawing weekly pension all out in cash then running around making payments over the counter. It can be a feeling of security if you're in hospital or even away on holiday - it all happens electronically whether you're there or not.

    Someone mentioned drawing a cheque at the bank counter. Do people really still do this???

    We now get power supplies from E-on. We get a discount for paying by DD, for using dual-fuel, and for doing all our accounting online. Recently DH got an email asking him to read the meters. He did so, and by the following morning there was an email for him saying our next DD payment would be a lot less. Given the long cold winter we've just had, we thought that was remarkable. We were expecting it to be more! In addition, council tax has not gone up, so as far as household bills are concerned, we're a bit better off than we expected to be.
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • thorsoak
    thorsoak Posts: 7,166 Forumite
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    Our central heating is by oil. Our delivery (of 500 litres) in August cost £224. Our delivery in December cost £368. The price at the moment is £309. With all that is going on in the middle east, heavens only knows what it will be by the end of the Autumn. I aim to fill it during the coming months (if and when I know exactly what my pension will be - I seem to be getting conflicting figures from DWP every other day).

    It's a good job that I am actively seeking another job - I'm not going to be able to afford stay-at-home widowhood!
  • KimYeovil
    KimYeovil Posts: 6,156 Forumite
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    flight747 wrote: »
    Why the government always make OAP a misery times ahead while all the young familes with children get more help than the OAP. This is so disgusting move from the government. They should cut familes with children [STRIKE]instead[/STRIKE] as well!

    Nonsense corrected.

    Why are they causing misery? The bonus is currently completely unneeded. Pensioners receive £570 per month plus housing. How can they not afford heating (even 18 hrs most days) on that sort of income? It has been announced that the basic pension is being increased to £600. This is (as far as I see) not affected by any additional pensions so that is a minimum. What is more couples are having a 25% increase.

    Of course the poverty bodies should stop spouting nonsense about child poverty. Whether cuts are made to families with children is debateable. One thing that is definite is the lies that the current sums are inadequate or unfair.

    As should disgusting lies about pensioners not being able to afford to heat and eat. £880 (plus housing expenses) per month and a couple can not afford to heat a couple of rooms in their home. Complete nonsense.
  • property.advert
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    Winter fuel payments should be scrapped. Surely adults are capable of realising, after 60 odd years on this planet, that you use more fuel in the winter than the summer. If they are so stupid that they don't realise this, perhaps its time they shuffled off.

    Every pensioner I know uses this allowance as a glorified spending session.
  • Jennifer_Jane
    Jennifer_Jane Posts: 3,237 Forumite
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    Winter fuel payments should be scrapped. Surely adults are capable of realising, after 60 odd years on this planet, that you use more fuel in the winter than the summer. If they are so stupid that they don't realise this, perhaps its time they shuffled off.

    Every pensioner I know uses this allowance as a glorified spending session.[/QUOTE]

    Again - anecdotal, and just to repeat that I - for one - don't, and I do try to keep warm with duvet whilst watching TV and so on. It's extremely useful for my heating bills and I've been very grateful for it. I understand that we all have to live more cheaply, that everyone has to tighten their belts, but for me - who is just about coping, thank you, I'm glad of it.
  • Jennifer_Jane
    Jennifer_Jane Posts: 3,237 Forumite
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    edited 25 March 2011 at 3:35PM
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    KimYeovil wrote: »
    Nonsense corrected.

    Why are they causing misery? The bonus is currently completely unneeded. Pensioners receive £570 per month plus housing. How can they not afford heating (even 18 hrs most days) on that sort of income? It has been announced that the basic pension is being increased to £600. This is (as far as I see) not affected by any additional pensions so that is a minimum. What is more couples are having a 25% increase.

    Of course the poverty bodies should stop spouting nonsense about child poverty. Whether cuts are made to families with children is debateable. One thing that is definite is the lies that the current sums are inadequate or unfair.

    As should disgusting lies about pensioners not being able to afford to heat and eat. £880 (plus housing expenses) per month and a couple can not afford to heat a couple of rooms in their home. Complete nonsense.

    I don't understand this? Pension credit of £130 per week (if you don't have savings over £16,000 or an income over whatever it is, but including housing? I'm sure you are correct, I'm not quarrelling with you, but would you let me know what you mean by housing, please?

    Also, current pensioners won't be getting the £140 per week and the flat pension rate will only be implemented far in the future - lots can happen before then. I get £90 a week and a small Company pension which takes me marginally under the Pension Credit limit, but have a few thousand pounds too much to qualify.

    PS - lots of pensioners are single, you know. All very well to talk of couples and two can live as cheaply as one etc. Some of us are widowed/divorced/single, whatever. Losing the Winter Fuel Payment wouldn't cause misery per se, but it does help so much.
  • Sixer
    Sixer Posts: 1,087 Forumite
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    I don't understand this? Pension credit of £130 per week (if you don't have savings over £16,000 or an income over whatever it is, but including housing? I'm sure you are correct, I'm not quarrelling with you, but would you let me know what you mean by housing, please?

    They mean pensioners who don't own their own homes get their rent paid via HB/LHA.

    Anecdotal from me since everyone's doing it (!):

    My parents are pretty wealthy pensioners - my father's pension is more than the UK average wage, they have a nice house, and plenty of investments. They give their WFA to Age Concern because they're embarrassed to get it.

    But this is the issue with universal benefits or any non means-tested benefits, isn't it? There will always be a few wealthy people who benefit needlessly. Look at millionaire David Cameron claiming DLA for his son. How on earth could he have needed another 70 quid a week? Even so, pounds, shillings and pence may count for a lot, but they're not every thing, every time. Universal benefits do a lot to bind people together and make everyone feel as though they both put and take out. And they're also cheap to administer.
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