THE FIVE French overseas departments - all of which have tropical climates - were included in the calculation of France's average winter temperature which was then used to determine whether British expatriates should continue to receive the winter fuel allowance, Connexion has found.
The Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mayotte and French Guiana in South America were all included. Méteo France data is only available for the first three online but shows an average winter temperature of 26C.
The islands' temperatures were used with those of mainland France to gain an average which was then compared with 5.6C for the south-west of England. If the resulting figure was higher - as was the case with France - the country was deemed "too hot" and the payments will be stopped.
This may explain why Italy, which does not have any overseas tropical territories, was deemed acceptably cold while France was not.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said the DOMs were included because they are considered to be part of France and therefore the EU - so Britons who live there could claim the winter fuel allowance. Connexion is searching for information on how many Britons live in these departments.
If you believe WFA should not be stopped for Britons in France sign the petition at epetitions.direct.gov.uk
This is open to UK residents or nationals - if your non-UK postcode is not accepted, leave that section blank.
The Connexion will be following up this issue in our next edition. To subscribe to ensure a copy see www.connexionfrance.com or call Nathalie on 06 40 61 71 97.
To comment on the WFA withdrawal email news[at]connexionfrance.com or join the discussion on Facebook.