Do you need winter fuel payment?

Over the next four weeks, nearly £1 million of taxpayers’ money will be given to pensioners in Kenilworth through the annual winter fuel payment.

More than one in five people in Kenilworth are pensioners. It should never be forgotten that many of them live in fuel poverty so the winter fuel payment is absolutely vital in helping them stay warm and healthy during the winter. But for other pensioners - including even those who spend the winter abroad in warm sunshine - the winter fuel payment is something of a luxury, to be used instead as a winter wine payment or spent on extra Christmas presents for grandchildren.

If pensioners think that getting this winter fuel payment really is a luxury, they can’t refuse it or send it back to the government. What they can do - but only if they think it’s wrong that they receive it - is remember those less fortunate people and give their winter fuel payment to a local community group or charity that works with vulnerable local residents affected by fuel poverty and who struggle to stay warm during the winter. What’s more, the local charity will probably be able to claim giftaid on their donation so making it even more valuable! - Richard Dickson, Barrow Road, Kenilworth.