Why are British pensioners in France not eligible for £300 energy aid?

The one-off payment is not being given to retirees who do not receive the winter fuel allowance. France is deemed too hot for this as the UK includes France’s overseas areas in the calculations

British pensioners in France are not eligible for UK’s £300 energy aid
UK pensioners in France will not get a living costs payment this year as France is considered to be too warm a country
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British pensioners living in France will not receive an extra £300 ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’ this autumn because they are not entitled to the annual Winter Fuel Payment, the UK government has confirmed to The Connexion.

The UK will send over eight million households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment, commonly referred to as the heating allowance, the extra tax-free sum later this year.

But those registered as living in France will not be a part of this.

“Pensioners living in France are not eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment or the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, designed to help cover the rising cost of energy this winter, as the average winter temperature there is higher than the warmest region of the UK,” a spokesperson for the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions said.

The UK considers the southwest of England the country’s warmest region.

The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment is part of a package of payments aimed at low-income households, people with disabilities and pensioners to help them with rising living costs.

There are somewhere between 50,000 to 70,000 British pensioners living in France, according to varying data from France’s national statistics office Insee and the UK’s Office for National Statistics.

Why do British pensioners in France not get the heating allowance?

The British government calculates France’s average winter temperature as being 7C, higher than the warmest area in the UK, the southwest of England, which has an average winter temperature of 5.6C.

The government therefore considers it unnecessary to give British pensioners living in France extra money for heating.

This is also the case for pensioners living in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar. It is, though, given to state pensioners in Italy.

However, the UK takes into consideration France’s overseas regions and departments when calculating its average winter temperature.

This includes places such as Guadeloupe in the southern Caribbean Sea or Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, which have an average winter temperature of around 25C.

The UK does not consider its own overseas territories in its calculation of average winter temperature.

France’s national weather service Météo-France considers the average winter temperature of France métropolitaine, mainland France plus Corsica, to be 5.4C.

What’s your view on this? Would the extra £300 have made a big difference to you this winter? Tell us about it at news@connexionfrance.com

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