What's the point of the Winter Fuel Allowance?

What is the point of the Winter fuel allowance. By that I do not mean it is pointless – but I’m asking what is the purpose of it. My take is that it is to ensure people don’t freeze to death in their homes over Winter. But that isn’t how it works. It is given out to people who may not use any fuel in Winter (they could be abroad) who may put it in their pot to spend on anything, or maybe just put it against their overall fuel bill.

Sorry – but that isn’t very targeted and isn’t doing what I think (though someone can happily tell me what the purpose is) the fuel allowance is meant to do.

If you want to target it to be spent on fuel, why not give it in a way so that it HAS to be spent on fuel and has to be spent in Winter. Some will say its too hard to administer. Not really. Get the energy companies to do so, as surely they would rather it was spend on their products in Winter (the purpose of the allowance) than on cheap flights to sunny shores.

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2 Responses to What's the point of the Winter Fuel Allowance?

  1. Yasin says:

    " It is given out to people who may not use any fuel in Winter (they could be abroad) who may put it in their pot to spend on anything, or maybe just put it against their overall fuel bill."

    That's doubtful somehow if we're being honest and fair.

    Though, I agree that the energy companies should have a role to play in administering WFP.

  2. toryradio says:

    1) My mother in law gets it.. is still working and does not spend it on fuel.. it just goes into a pot and gets spent at Christmas.

    2) Many people who are retired go abroad over Winter for months at a time as it is cheaper than being in the UK, ergo do not use any fuel in the Winter period.

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