£16 million of winter fuel payments sent to expats


British expatriates around the world are receiving more than £16 million in Government winter fuel payments, despite many living in warm countries where there is no need for radiators.

Pensions minister Steve Webb revealed the figure after being asked about the matter in Parliament. They show that last year around 65,000 expat pensioners were paid the allowance, which is greater than two times the number of people who were recipients just five years ago.

The details also showed that that almost half of the recipients live in Spain, a popular retirement country with warm weather throughout the year.

As it currently stands nothing can be done about these seemingly unnecessary payments, as the European Commission demands that all British pensioners who qualified for it at home must receive it while abroad.

A spokesman at the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Winter fuel payments are paid to UK pensioners abroad in order to comply with European law. They are only paid to pensioners who first qualified for the support while living in the UK.”

The winter fuel payment is not means tested and is simply paid out to all pensioners.