Skip to main content

Winter Fuel Payments

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the level of the winter fuel payment was in (a) cash terms, (b) real terms expressed in 2003 prices and (c) as a percentage of the average energy and gas bill in each year since 2003. (218901)

The winter fuel payment is intended to provide a contribution towards winter heating bills which account for around 60 per cent. of the total annual fuel bill. The payment provides a significant contribution to these higher winter costs. Winter fuel payments have increased from £20 in 1997-98 to the current value of £200 for households with someone aged 60 to 79 years of age, and £300 for households with someone aged 80 or over.

This coming winter an additional payment will be made of £50 for households with someone aged 60-79 and £100 for households with someone aged 80 or over increasing the Winter Fuel Payment to £250 and £400 respectively for winter 2008-09.

The information requested is in the following table:

2003-042004-052005-062006-0712007-082008-09

WFP

80+

WFP

80+

WFP

80+

WFP

80+

WFP

80+

WFP

80+

(a) Cash value of WFP (£)

200

300

200

300

200

300

200

300

200

3000

250

400

(b) Real value2 (£)

200

300

194

291

189

283

182

273

175

262

212

340

(c) (i) WFP as a percentage of average annual energy bill

30

50

30

45

30

40

25

35

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

(c) (ii) WFP as a percentage of average annual gas bill

75

110

70

105

60

95

55

80

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

1 From 2006, the Family Spending Survey reports on a calendar year basis. 2006 is the latest available data on household energy (including gas) expenditure and is applied here. 2 2003-04 prices. Notes: 1. The real value of the winter fuel payment is calculated by indexing RPI = 100 in 2003-04. 2. The RPI index applied is taken from Table RP02, produced by the Office for National Statistics. 3. The average annual energy and gas bill for all households is estimated using data from the Family Spending Survey, produced by the Office for National Statistics. The average energy bill includes all household expenditure on electricity, gas and 'other fuels'. 4. All percentages rounded to the nearest five per cent.