On December 15th the DWP slipped in a Statutory Instrument to axe Winter Fuel Payments for British Expat Pensioners living in France, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Greece and Malta. They laid it before Parliament for consideration.
MP Sir Roger Gale has today tabled a motion in the House of Commons asking for the ‘statutory instrument’ (SI) axing the payments to be annulled. It is now vital this obtains support from other MPs. - See more at: http://www.connexionfrance.com/Winter-fuel-payment-expats-Roger-Gale-prayer-16549-view-article.html#sthash.wnCzcmc4.dpuf
Sir Roger said: “People must now contact their own MPs [in the case of expats, MPs for the last UK constituency where you were registered to vote] – not me - explaining why they have an interest. Tell them: ‘I am going to lose my WFP, which matters to me; this is unfair because...’ and please therefore will they sign EDM 695 which is a prayer against the statutory instrument.’ “Readers should also ask their MP to be kind enough to confirm that they have done this.”
This is part of the ongoing battle with the DWP, and is their way of using the ‘temperature test’ to create a category of ‘hot’ countries which are proscribed from a list of countries where claimants will still be paid the Winter Fuel Payment.
In October 2014 the Government published two booklets which provided a great deal of advice concerning the care of the elderly at times of cold winter temperatures. There is much evidence in these publications which shows there is an ‘increased risk of death’ whenever average winter temperatures fall below 8°C.
Three of the countries in the DWP’s list of proscribed countries where the WFP is to be stopped from 2015/2016, France, Greece and Spain, have average winter temperatures of 7.0°C, 7.1°C and 7.3°C respectively - all below the 8°C threshold - these three temperatures are those used by the DWP, and two of them are ‘false’.
So get onto your MP now and urge him/her to sign Roger Gale’s EDM.