Expats frozen out of winter fuel payments
10 Feb 2016
Despite protests from thousands of expats about the winter fuel allowance – and the fact that it snows here – the UK government is standing firm on its decision to snub its residents who live in Spain.
This is despite the fact that it does actually snow in Spain and heating is necessary through the winter months. From the 2015/16 winter, expats are no longer entitled to the payment if the average winter temperature is higher than that of the warmest region of the UK, namely the southwest at 5.2ºC. But we should also consider that energy is expensive in Spain and not many people have energy efficient central heating, so our bills increase significantly in winter.
Understandably many pensioners were furious at the government’s move and they set up a petition to fight the scrapping of the allowance. It also led to a move for more expats to use their entitlement to vote in the UK general elections. If enough expats voted, it could have an influence on the political make-up of the UK and mean politicians take more notice of their constituents who live abroad. In the meantime, there are a few ways you can try to keep warm without cranking up the thermostat.
Firstly, put on an extra layer of clothes such as another sweater if you’re feeling a chill. Secondly check your home for any draughts. You can buy draught excluder strips or make your own by stuffing an old pillowcase with tights or socks to go under the door to keep out the chill. If there are any rooms which you don’t use every day, you can turn down the thermostat in there or even turn the heating off and keep the door shut. At night, don’t forget to close the curtains and invest in thermal curtains for rooms with large windows.
Lastly, why not eat hearty warming soups, curries and hot chocolate to keep you feeling warm inside? You can also shop around for electricity suppliers.
Call Golden Leaves on 966 493 082 in Spain for further information.