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U-turns

Winter fuel allowance

  • Cameron: “I will protect your Winter Fuel Payment” – Conservative Party pre-election pledge to pensioners, 26 Mar 2010
  • Winter fuel payment cuts to hit millions of pensioners – The Daily Telegraph, 17 Aug 2010

During the election campaign, David Cameron outlined the Conservatives’ pensioner pledge, which included a “personal promise to protect the Winter Fuel Payment”.

The Tory leader vowed:

“I will protect your Winter Fuel Payment.”

However, a few months on, the government has announced that older people will have to wait at least six years longer to receive winter fuel payments, as The Daily Telegraph reports:

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that ministers have resolved to increase the qualifying age for the annual payment from 60 to at least 66. Talks are under way about an even bigger rise.

The basic winter fuel payment, made to more than 12 million people, will also be cut by £50 for new recipients and £100 for the oldest.

It would be the first major restriction in a universal benefit under the Coalition, and could open the door to more dramatic announcements, with cuts to child benefit also under discussion.

The move comes despite a pre-election promise from David Cameron to safeguard benefits for the elderly, including winter fuel payments.

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