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winter fuel allowance should be scrapped


N47.

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for the majority and just given to those who claim pension credit ie the poorest of pensioners.

If the working well paid can loose their child benefit if one of them earns over £60,000 why can't those pensioners who do not really need it, have it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2256466/Paul-Burstow-Four-pensioners-lose-help-fuel-bills-raise-1-5billion-fund-elderly-care.html

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spider9

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spuds *" So perhaps I should ask for a simple answer as to why, when some of us have already made our donations at various levels over the years?."*

Because our system of National Insurance is designed so that those who have enough can help those who haven't. Otherwise you are proposing that everyone should get every benefit, just because they've paid into the pot??

You imply you got a job straight from school and paid higher rate taxation, and paid into a pension scheme to supplement your pension (" but even that 'as had' its shortfalls"- like many others ). Given that, it sounds as if you've done OK and been fortunate, workwise. Many others are not so fortunate, because of circumstances, education, health or a host of other things and have been unable to make any provision - do they not deserve a bit extra in their retirement years?

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Bing.alau

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Because I am one of the people who paid in to the system since leaving school at the age of fourteen (a bigger percentage then as well). Also because I worked and paid until I was sixty five, a spell of fifty one years compared to what people seem to be saying on here of a working life of forty four years. I therefore think I should get a bigger pension than I do in relation to others.

some of those years were spent in HM forces serving abroad for more than two years at a time. Civilian workers working abroad were exempt from paying taxes if they were abroad in excess of a period of time which I think was six months. I was not exempt. Why I do not know.

University students don't start work until they are well in to their twenties, if then. Do they have to make up a shortfall of their contributions in stamps and taxes? If not why not? I also think they should then have to work for a minimum of fifty years before getting their pension.

I feel no regret about drawing the winter fuel allowance or any other tit-bit that comes my way. I remember Major General Montgomery being criticised for drawing his old age pension way back and while I can't remember his exact words about it. He gave his critics short shrift because he had worked hard to qualify for his position, and paid toward it all his life and was entitled to it. I was on his side then and I still am. Why should you be deprived of something which you have worked hard for and which is yours anyway? There's always somebody better off than what you are. No matter how much you have got.

What I get I worked hard for and am entitled to, it is more than I need at the moment, but will it be so in the future? Besides I can pass on what I don't need to my offspring, they no doubt will not relish paying the tax on it either.

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spider9

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Bingalau

With respect (as I would hate to get a response like 'onthelimit1' got from you, yesterday!!) it is not the old age pension, and entitlement to it, that is the topic raised - it is the winter fuel allowance.

We have all paid for the basic state pension and there is no reason why Monty and the like shouldn't get it - but what is being asked is whether the winter fuel allowance should be given to everyone over 60.

This payment is supposed to help those who find themselves in 'fuel poverty', not to provide extra pin-money to be distributed among those who have no actual need of it. It's a matter of conscience (..and politics, no party wants to alienate well-to-do pensioners).

A possible solution might be to pay the fuel allowance as extra 'pension' - that way at least it gets taxed on the better-off, but I still think it should only go to pensioners having to claim other benefits, not everyone.

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Bing.alau

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spider9. I am under the impression that fuel allowance is only paid to pensioners. Now I am wondering why 60 year olds get it?

Also with respect, I think "onthelimit1" only got what he asked for. We in Liverpool are fed up to the teeth with the same old, same old, all the time. There is no justification for it. However as a really nice guy from Liverpool, I am more than willing to accept an apology.

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N47.

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Bing.alau

"I am under the impression that fuel allowance is only paid to pensioners"

Untill last year it was paid to anyone over the age of 60, male or female. Just like a bus pass was issued to any one over 60. The age it will be paid will now gradually creep up year on year as will the basic state pension and bus passes.

So you could have an executive still in work, who conceivably has children under the age of 19 earning over £60,000 pa. They would loose the child benefit but gain the heating allowance.

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lotvic

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I don't have an answer/suggestion for changing the Winter Fuel Payment, but I can see that it is not fair 'either which way' depending on which income group a person is in.

What does matter I think is that the way it is worked out will have to be changed as pensions have not kept up with the rise in prices for fuel so a greater percent of income is now needed to pay those bills. Working on my previous info on how Gov calculate it (10% or more of income spent = fuel poverty) that would mean that a single person 60 or over would need £270 per week income (annual dual fuel cost average is about £1400) just to keep at the 10% mark.

It's obvious (to me) that means-testing with the present guidelines isn't going to work either. I also wonder why it only takes UK occupancy for a specific week in September for a person to qualify. I don't agree with those who live abroad for the rest of the time to be paid it.

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spider9

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Bingalau "Now I am wondering why 60 year olds get it? "

Because that was the criteria!!

"However as a really nice guy from Liverpool, I am more than willing to accept an apology."

As an equally nice Liverpudlian, I rejected the offer of the humour transplant - why didn't you??

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lotvic

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spider9, yes that was/is one of the criteria and along with a few more it should have been better thought out at onset.

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Grey Goo

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Spider 9

You pay National Insurance contributions to build up entitlements to certain State Benefits. To compare it with car insurance is ludicrous,as it is not an insurance policy of that type. But I am guessing you knew that already.

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spider9

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GreyGoo

I used the definition of 'insurance' in the generic form, and never intended car/home to exactly match the NI setup (which I'm also sure you perfectly well understood, too!) and was just illustrative.

The entitlements question, however, I would take issue with in that the entitlement to a state pension is entirely different to entitlement to other benefits where 'need' has to be considered.

But even that is mitigated by the pension being part of your taxable income, so wealthy pensioners do, automatically, get less. It should be the same for fuel allowance (at the very least).

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