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UK government could axe winter fuel payments

Over the last few months we have seen significant distress from the retirement sector with more and more pensioners struggling to survive amid concerns over the cost of living. However, the UK government looks set to plunge a knife into the back of UK pensioners with a suggestion that some areas of the winter fuel payment system should be taxed thereby raising around £250 million a year for the UK authorities.

The payment system is currently worth £250 a year for the over 60s or £400 for the over 80s even though the government insists that only 12% of those in receipt of the winter fuel allowance are actually in "fuel poverty". Fuel poverty is officially a situation where more than 1/10th of a person's income is spent on fuel bills. However, while the UK government is looking to potentially tax the top band of pensioners receiving the allowance (around 200,000 people) or stop the payments altogether they seem to be missing the fact that the cost of living has increased substantially in the UK over the last few years.

As we covered in one of our earlier posts, there is also the situation regarding future pension arrangements with a significant reduction in pension funds over the last few months. Whether this particular move is politically motivated ahead of an election next year remains to be seen.

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