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Campaign to donate Winter Fuel Payments relaunched

Simon Ward
by Lovemoney Staff Simon Ward on 12 November 2012  |  Comments 10 comments

The Surviving Winter campaign raised £2.5 million in donations to help vulnerable older people living in fuel poverty last year.

Campaign to donate Winter Fuel Payments relaunched

A campaign to allow people to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payments to help other vulnerable older people has been relaunched.

The Surviving Winter campaign is jointly organised by the Community Foundation Network (CFN) and Saga. This year it is being backed by Stephen Fry.

The CFN distributes the money raised in a variety of ways, including dispensing hot meals and blankets and offering financial support with energy bills.

It says last year's campaign raised £2.5 million and helped 20,000 people.

Ros Altmann, Director General of Saga said: “We are aware that the UK has a much less energy efficient housing stock than most of Europe, meaning older people need all the help they can get to keep their homes warm.

“This initiative facilitates a way for those who don’t feel they need their Winter Fuel Payment to donate it to someone who is struggling with the cost of heating. Of course, it need not only be pensioners who donate money – anyone can help.”

The Winter Fuel Payment, worth between £100-£300, is paid out annually around this time of the year.

If you would like to donate, you can do so online at the Surviving Winter website.

What do you think of this idea? Should the Winter Fuel Payment be means tested or temperature tested? Share your thoughts in the Comments box below.

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Comments (10)

  • mrs weatherley
    Love rating 32
    mrs weatherley said

    Fine idea uses the common sense of the elders to help their peers..better than the state any day

    Report on 12 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • fenemore
    Love rating 251
    fenemore said

    I do have a problem here with the definition of "the needy". There are those who find they are down on their luck through no fault of their own. Then there are those who have made a lifetime of questionable expenditure choices and have nothing left for their retirement.

    So to suggest that those who "did the right thing" should donate their WFA to help those who didn't - well its not quite so clear cut now is it? But in saying this, I have probably defined the whole welfare state. For those who did do the right thing, there is very little return for a lifetime of taxation - apart from the state-pension, this is probably their ONLY extra entitlement - and they are expected to give it away? I am not convinced!

    Report on 12 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  7 loves
  • vulcanite
    Love rating 39
    vulcanite said

    Fenemore has it in spades.....

    I don't need my £200, so half goes to Cat's protection, and half to Dogs Trust, since both of these poor creatures suffer because of their owners lack of forethought.. They don't have a choice, we do.

    Report on 12 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  5 loves
  • watchdog44
    Love rating 4
    watchdog44 said

    Those who wish to donate all or part of their WFA can do so on a voluntary basis. But for goodness sake DO NOT make it a means tested or temperature tested exercise. Just imagine the army needed to try to run either system and the cost of this - totally cancelling out any benefit to ''the needy'' and providing another gravy train for umpteen ''officials''

    Report on 13 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  3 loves
  • electricblue
    Love rating 769
    electricblue said

    Unwanted pets should be humanely destroyed. Until we have looked after all the needs of our fellow human beings the luxury of wasting billions on animals is immoral. Most of the main charities are big business and even animal lovers are deluding themselves that all the animal charities have welfare as their core value. Dogs and cats certainly have no better right to life than pigs, cows and sheep. We need more local involvement and concern for neighbours, nothing that government legislation or hand-outs can do effectively.

    Report on 13 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • bengilda
    Love rating 100
    bengilda said

    The present lump sum payment of the winter fuel allowance is badly flawed in that there is no control or guarantee that it will be used to offset fuel bills.

    There are two alternatives that spring to mind. One is that the lump sum is replaced by a weekly increase to the pension in January, February and March to enable credit to be added to meter keys.

    The second is that identifiable energy £10 credit vouchers with a limited life are issued to those eligible to be redeemed either as a direct credit payment to the energy supplier or to be redeemed to charge a fuel credit key.

    At present the mid November payout is seen primarily as a bonus to be spent on Christmas or whatever with little regard for upcoming energy bills. Domestic budgetting is not a strong point with many people, young or old.

    Report on 13 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • AdAstra100
    Love rating 27
    AdAstra100 said

    The WFA should be added to the pension and taxed at the marginal rate. That way all higher rate tax payers will be returning 40%, others 20% and the needy 0%. As such, thereafter, it would be factored into the inflation figures used to increase the State Pension and taken out of the political football arena into which it was introduced by Brown. One problem is that as this year the increase in energy prices conveniently occurred after the September inflation figure which is used to set the pension increase.

    Report on 13 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • celticlass
    Love rating 9
    celticlass said

    fenemore....what is the *right thing*? I was one of those parents who was a stay at home mum not wishing my kids to be *latch key kids* I didnt start work until my family was able to fend for themselves! Therefore I have no savings and no luxury of a private pension. My husband was in a low paid job. I rely on the State pension and other benefits for my income now -the WFA is crucial to me, to help with that December - March electric bill. My flat is privately rented - the landlord doesnt give a toss about maintaining the building which is still mainly single glazed and no cavity wall insulation.

    Report on 13 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • harrydeflint
    Love rating 0
    harrydeflint said

    The fuel allowance should be added to the pension and taxed,at the moment it is tax free but they are asking people to gift aid their donation,so it will cost all of us due to less taxable income,Also over 1million pensioners live abroad spending their fuel allowance in another country,so why not simply provide a voucher redeemed against any UK energy bill.Those that don't need it,do not need to bother using it.

    Report on 18 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • confusedtigger
    Love rating 0
    confusedtigger said

    There is an assumption here that it is only paid to the elderly ... the payment is also paid to the disabled. I for one, am no longer able to work after a car accident (as a passenger) left me disabled and am grateful for the annual fuel payments. I don't live an extravagant life, nor do I squander money, don't smoke or drink alcohol. Perhaps if I meow or bark loudly someone will donate their fuel allowance to me (said humorously and very tongue in cheek) ... seriously though .... I don't see how people have enough money to consider donating these payments anyway!

    Report on 22 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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