After a European Court of Justice ruling granting the UK Winter Fuel Allowance to more British expat pensioners the Government has sought to bite back with at attempt to claw back an additional £16m in annual savings.
The current rules state that expats can only claim the Winter Fuel Allowance if they have left the UK after the age of 60 but the European Court of Justice ruled that the benefit could be claimed by any expat regardless of when they left the UK.
In the midst of an austerity drive the UK has made plans to end the universal benefits system and has shown to view the expat community as easy targets.
To escape the effect of the ruling the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has laid out plans to put in place a temperature test to avoid paying the Allowance to expats living in hotter climates.
A source told the Daily Mail, “Clearly it is a crazy idea that pensioners living in hot places abroad in Europe should be receiving winter fuel payments
“We are looking into seeing if there is something we can do around setting an average temperature in order to get round the European Court of Justice ruling. It is important that taxpayers’ money is used to help pensioners here.
“An average temperature rule would ensure people here get it regardless.”