British expats may now have their £200 winter fuel allowance taken away after the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith vowed to fight the EU decree which protected their original allowance.
Duncan-Smith described the European rules over the allowance as “ludicrous” in which an estimated 440,000 British pensioners across Europe have to have their payments made. The former leader of the Conservatives has proposed a ‘temperature test’ to determine whether expat pensioners living in warmer climates are still deserving of the payment.
The payment to British expats is estimated to be costing the British government nearly £100 million per year. The DWP also confirmed that a possible temperature test would apply to pensioners living in Britain.
The National Pensioners’ Convention described the current payment set up as a “complete mess”. PM David Cameron has reiterated that pensioners benefits will not be cut during this government.
The winter fuel allowance provides households with a pensioner, payments from £200 and can claim up to £300 for over 80s. The DWP has not finalised details over climate criteria tests but the news is unlikely go down well with expats across the continent currently benefitting from the payments.