To wonder why child benefit is now means tested but winter fuel payments aren't.

(201 Posts)
ImagineJL Mon 03-Dec-12 22:52:18

I can see the argument for reducing and removing child benefit for high earners (despite the fact that I am losing money myself), but why not apply the same principle to winter fuel payments? A colleague of mine is a hospital consultant, earning over 100k a year, so has just lost all his child benefit. But he still gets his winter fuel payment.

It seems a bit strange.

apostrophethesnowman Mon 03-Dec-12 22:54:36

Why does he get winter fuel payment? I'm not understanding why he's entitled to it?

MrsLyman Mon 03-Dec-12 22:54:50

I suspect it's because pensioners vote more regularly, than those in receipt of child benefit.

ImagineJL Mon 03-Dec-12 22:55:21

Because he was born before the cut-off date

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 03-Dec-12 22:56:24

Because means testing pensioners is expensive and because pensioners tend to use their votes.

dementedma Mon 03-Dec-12 22:58:18

All pensioners get it. Even the very wealthy ones.

ImagineJL Mon 03-Dec-12 22:59:52

But surely it would be easy to means test pensioners who are still working and paying tax?

apostrophethesnowman Mon 03-Dec-12 23:00:35

I'm sorry, I was just trying to work out how he was old enough to get old age pension, but young enough to get child benefit.

I think I need to sleep as my brain is obviously not in gear tonight!

ImagineJL Mon 03-Dec-12 23:00:57

I wonder if the queen gets it!

McChristmasPants2012 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:02:16

Because a lot of vulnerable old people wouldn't apply and would lose out.

ImagineJL Mon 03-Dec-12 23:04:06

But you don't have to apply, you just get it. And then they could claim it back in tax as they're doing with child benefit.

My nan is in a residential care home, she pays for her own care and had a rather large some of money in the bank. Her heating bills are quite obviously paid for by her fees. She still gets her winter fuel payment and I don't understand why she should get it. She lives in a care home, the money goes straight into her bank and does not benefit the home at all

Has a large sum of money that should say

McChristmasPants2012 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:09:11

Ghost, if she pays for her care then IMO she is using the money toward her fees that includes heating

ImagineJL Mon 03-Dec-12 23:11:17

I can only assume there's some secret reason for keeping, or they just haven't got to it yet. Maybe they're planning to axe it in the summer when no-one will take too much notice, especially if there's a royal baby being born!

Good point. V rich next door neighbours get winter fuel allowance. pension more than 80k pa!! . We are about to loose our child benifit. Dh earns 60k I'm a SAHM with 2dc. Massive mortgage on a small house in s London. Doesn't really seem reasonable.

ViperInTheManger Mon 03-Dec-12 23:13:35

It's because pensioners provide a large proportion of the Tory vote so they will never be touched.

I am really on the fence with this one.
On one hand there are people living in Portugal getting it.
You have Peter Stringfellow wanting to give his back but there is no facility to do so.

Yet I wouldn't want to see elderly vulnerable people go without.

Thing is these cuts have been swingeing. My family has been hit really, really hard by it and in my individual circumstances there is absolutely no chance of us going out to work for example. People are being caught up in cuts that shouldn't be.

Also, as the move to CB cuts proves, means testing is an expensive process hence the unfair situation you get where two thirty grand earners get CB yet one sixty grand earner doesn't.... so it would cost yet more to means test...

Dozer Mon 03-Dec-12 23:16:18

Pensioners have much more political power. Lots of the DWP budget goes on pensions etc. Is also other non means-tested, universal stuff like free bus passes.

Redbindy Mon 03-Dec-12 23:17:03

Winter fuel payment is about £200 (I think). Means testing that would cost considerably more. That maybe because we pay our civil servants too much, but that's a whole different thread.

niceguy2 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:21:21

Because as others have said, pensioners are more likely to be Tory voters. Plus they are also incredibly organised and have plenty of time to hassle their MP.

Those who are earning enough to be in the HRT bracket have jobs to keep hold of so naturally can't spend as much time hassling our MP and chaining ourselves to the gates of Westminster.

spoonsspoonsspoons Mon 03-Dec-12 23:22:55

The thing is they wouldn't have to necessarily means test it, restricting it to only those claiming a pension would be a start and surely not that costly to implement. My parents both work full time but are entitled to it because of their age

Redbindy Mon 03-Dec-12 23:25:59

I claimed a pension at 40. I'm with you spoons.

Mchappypants, she sold her house for a 1/4 million pounds, she still gets her own private pension, my granddads private pension and her old age pension and this is more than enough to pay her care home fees every month. My mum manages her affairs and was gobsmacked at how much my nan has coming in, she also has savings of around forty thousand pounds in a seperate account aside from the house money.

She does not need the 200 pound a year fuel allowance payment.

If she was piss poor and struggling to pay her care home fees I wouldn't be so annoyed. But she really doesn't need it

apostrophethesnowman Mon 03-Dec-12 23:28:09

Pensioners are more likely to be tory voters? Why?

That makes no sense to me. I know certainly in my family people don't change their political affiliations because they reach pension age.

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