To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on ensuring that all people with pre-payment meters who are eligible for the winter fuel payment have that payment applied automatically.
Winter Fuel Payments are cash payments based on age and residence, and are not means tested. Most payments are made automatically between November and December based on information held by my Department; payments can also be claimed via Gov.uk.
In addition, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and my Department work with energy companies to deliver discounts to energy bills through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. This provides an annual discount of £140 on the electricity bills of over 2 million low-income households. It is available to households in receipt of certain means-tested benefits whose energy supplier is covered by the Scheme. Households receiving the Guarantee Credit of Pension Credit should receive these discounts on their bills automatically. Those in receipt of other selected benefits may apply for a discount to their energy company. Customers using all payment types, including pre-payment meters, are eligible for the Scheme.