Dear oh dear – what short memories some of us do have. It’s only August, and already the griping has started about the loss of the Winter Fuel Payment £50 supplement.
Think back folks – it’s a supplement not an entitlement – it was never intended to be a permanent addition to the WFP, which is £200.
The additional £50 was introduced some years ago as a temporary measure to deal with a blip of extreme cold (I think – I honestly can’t recall the reason), and was always subject to withdrawal pretty much on a whim. As indeed, it has been – no surprise there. If it wasn’t a vote-loser I’m sure the WFP would have been revoked entirely.
I’ve mentioned hardening attitudes to those on benefit several time lately, and that includes pensioners, and this is just another example. The original intention, a year ago, was to remove the £50 from new claimants – then it was extended to include everybody so, from this winter, for us all, WFP reverts to its normal £200.
Yes, like most, I’ll miss the £50, but it was never going to continue indefinitely. I think the mistake was allowing it to go on for longer than was probably originally planned, so that people got used to it.