Winter Fuel Payments: opposition mounts

In an age of austerity, handing out Winter Fuel Allowance payments to wealthy over-60s is beginning to look increasingly indefensible

There are some 2 million over-60s in the UK who have assets of over £1 million. Should they receive a handout of £200 or more each year to help with their fuels costs?

The answer seems pretty obvious, really. A number of members of government have now spoken out against this anomalous generosity.

In the light of this, IF’s Angus Hanton was invited to speak on the subject by the BBC’s business correspondent Jonty Bloom, for a slot entitled “Should wealthy pensioners get benefits?”, broadcast on the World at One (BBC Radio 4) on 22 November.

You can hear how he puts the case – along with others – in a 4-minute extract here:

Posted on: 1 December, 2012

2 thoughts on “Winter Fuel Payments: opposition mounts

  1. Steve Gregory

    The issue of stopping winter fuel allowance to wealthy pensioners is important, but pales into insignificance against huge guaranteed pensions that a significant minority of current pensioners enjoy. These are pillaging public finances and private pension schemes alike.

    The answer is to punitively tax higher pension incomes – say above £25k, to recover some of this money to help alleviate the pressure on us all. (see my posting about the pensions paper)

  2. Barry Pearson

    Steve Gregory:

    Whatever is done mustn’t demotivate current younger generations from contributing to pension schemes.

    It would not help future generations if people adopt the attitude “there is little point in contributing lots to pension schemes because the government will stop them benefiting from this”. Or if people the adopt the attitude “governments won’t let older people starve, so let’s assume the government will look after us in our old age, rather than save for ourselves”.

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