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Winter Fuel Payments

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received the winter fuel payment in each year since its introduction; and how much they received in each year. (150053)

Information on winter fuel payments for the winters of 1997-98 and 1998-99 is not available. The information from winter 1999-2000 is in the following table.

Payments made

1999-2000

10,084,130

2000-01

11,105,750

2001-02

11,201,900

2002-03

11,348,040

2003-04

11,468,240

2004-05

11,401,170

2005-06

11,514,760

2006-07

11,659,490

Notes:

1. Figures rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Figures for 2006-07 refer only to the main payment run so they do not include the late payment run figures. We estimate that there are approximately 100,000 people in Great Britain paid in late payment runs (0.8 per cent. of all payments). Since most of the payment runs are to people who are not receiving another benefit from DWP and whose claims had not been received by the qualifying week, most are men aged 60 to 64.

3. Where couples are in receipt of pension credit or income-based jobseeker’s allowance they receive one full rate winter fuel payment which is paid to the person claiming the benefit.

Source:

Information directorate 100 per cent. data.

The amount of winter fuel payment a person receives depends on their household circumstances. People who live with other eligible people receive a shared rate which is half of the full payment. People who live alone, live with someone who does not qualify for a payment or who receive pension credit or income-based jobseeker’s allowance receive the full rate.

The current rate of the winter fuel payment is £200 for people aged 60 to 79 and £300 for people aged 80 or over. When the winter fuel payment was introduced in the winter of 1997-98 it was paid at the rate of £20 or £50 for people receiving income support or income-based jobseeker’s allowance. The payment was increased in winter 1999-2000 to £100 and further increased in winter 2000-01 to £200. In winter 2003-04 the payment was increased to £300 for people aged 80 or over.