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Winter Fuel Payment

Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many late claims for winter fuel allowance were received in (a) 2003, (b) 2004 and (c) 2005. (107256)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1580W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost of the winter fuel payment was in each year since its introduction. (103986)

The information requested is in the following table .

Total cost of winter fuel allowance paid out in Great Britain


Cash Terms £ million



















Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest million. 2. Winter fuel payment was introduced in 1997. 3 Payments made to people aged 60 to 64 years and over 80 payment are included from 2000-01 onwards. Following a European Court of Justice Judgement in 1999, winter fuel payments were extended to people aged 60 or over regardless of whether they were receiving a social security benefit. A claims process was set up in the year 2000 to enable payments to be made to those people who could not be identified through the Department's records. Source: DWP Expenditure tables consistent with Pre Budget Report 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the merits of increasing the annual winter fuel payment to take account of increases in energy bills. (114961)

The Government keep all tax and welfare policies under review and any changes are considered as part of the normal Budget and Spending Review processes. The winter fuel payment has risen from £20 in winter 1997-98 to £200 from winter 2000-01 and to £300 for those aged 80 or over from winter 2003-04. These increases have been at a significantly higher rate than inflation whereas utility prices tend to fluctuate and have fallen as well as risen in recent years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals have received winter fuel payments in Derby city since 2005. (110946)

In the winter of 2005-06, 38,480 people in the two parliamentary constituencies in the city of Derby received a winter fuel payment. This comprises 20,210 people in Derby North and 18,270 people in Derby South. Figures are not yet available for this winter but we expect the numbers to be similar.


1. Figures rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.


Information Directorate 100 per cent. sample.