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Winter Fuel Payments: British Nationals Abroad

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many winter fuel payments were made to persons living outside the UK in 1996-97; and what estimate she has made of the number of winter fuel payments made to persons living in (a) Spain, (b) Italy, (c) Greece, (d) Portugal and (e) other countries outside the UK in the last financial year. (320314)

Winter fuel payments were first introduced in winter 1997-98 and paid to eligible people living in the United Kingdom (UK).

Since 2002 winter fuel payments have been made to eligible former UK residents living elsewhere in the European Economic Area or Switzerland provided they qualified for a winter fuel payment before leaving the UK. Under European Union law some benefits acquired in one member state must be paid to people who live outside that state but within the European Economic Area. Winter fuel payments are one of these benefits and the UK is bound by European Union law.

Information for winter 2008-09 (the last year for which information is available) is in the following table.

Winter fuel payments (WFPs) paid to people living in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland outside UK

WFPs by country










Other countries within the EEA and Switzerland



The figures are for automated payments which account for the great majority of payments made.