Winter fuel allowance should be taken away from the wealthy

Winter fuel allowance should be taken away from the wealthy
Published:  17 Jun at 9 AM
The British taxpayer should not be required to pay the heating bills of wealthy pensioners living abroad, according to Nick Clegg. The deputy PM has made several calls for benefit reform and would also like to see rich retiree’s lose their free bus passes and television licenses.

However, David Cameron has said he has no intension of changing the rules until after the next election. Mr Clegg wants a debate to be opened up on the subject. The Labour Party said it agreed there should be a change and has vowed to take benefits away from wealthier pensioners if voted into power in 2015.

Iain Duncan Smith has proposed introducing a temperature test for pensioners living overseas to see if the extra cash for winter heating is needed. Mr Clegg said that any benefit reform needed to start with the wealthy. Labour leader Ed Miliband last week said that he will support the Coalition’s cap on welfare spending.

Mr Clegg has been critical of the Department for Work and Pension’s decision to keep paying a winter fuel allowance to pensioners living in countries like Spain and Greece where they may not need extra heating during the winter months.

The winter fuel allowance is worth as much as £300.