Winter Fuel Payments: France

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd January 2015.

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Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Full Member)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what basis the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Barthélemy, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia are excluded from his calculations for the purposes of establishing the average mean winter temperature for France in connection with winter fuel payments.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The French Government and European Union law makes a distinction between the pays et territoires d’outre-mer (PTOM) and the départements d’outre mer (DOMs). The PTOM include Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Barthélémy, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia. These territories benefit from association with the EU but community law does not generally apply. With the exception of Saint- Barthélémy they have their own social protection schemes and are legally and financially autonomous. UK Winter Fuel Payments are not paid to residents in the PTOMs.

The French Government treats its DOMs as integral parts of the French State and they are subject to the application of EU social security co-ordination regulations. Winter Fuel Payments are payable to residents in the DOMs, however this will end from September 2015.

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