Winter Fuel Payments

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd January 2015.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer to Question 220107, if he will make it his policy to exclude French Overseas Departments in the calculation of average temperature for France for the purposes of determining eligibility for winter fuel payments to UK citizens.

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

It is the French Government that defines itself as the mainland and its outermost regions, and as such are included in the EU social security co-ordination regulations, used and applied by all member states.

It is because of this that the French Overseas Departments (départments d’outre mer or DOMs) are treated in the same way as mainland France with regard to Winter Fuel Payments, which are currently made to those entitled who live there. Therefore, the hotter French Overseas Departments have to be included in the calculation of the average temperature of France. We are being consistent with our policy approach.

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George Morley
Posted on 26 Jan 2015 7:25 pm (Report this annotation)

Just because the French do it does not mean that the UK have to follow the same rule and common sense must be applied.
This is similar to the Frozen pension policy where DWP sees fit to deny pensioners in Canada the same pension uprating as those ex-pats living in the USA.
Discrimination seems to be the rule with the DWP rather than equality and fairness in implementing policies that comply with signed agreements and code of conduct of the politicians responsible.