Winter Fuel Payment
Who are ‘We’?
Throughout the text of this website
we have used the term ‘we’.
So, who are ‘We’?
My name is Roger Boaden, I’m an Expat settled in France with my wife Maria. I worked in the UK from 1956 to 2002, when
we moved to France. Towards the end
of my career I suffered life-threatening illness (at least that’s what the specialists
told me) which limited my working ability, and made me take stock. Maria had
earlier suffered life-threatening illness,
which had made her unable to work for some years. We each had an apartment, and found we could no longer afford to
live in London paying two mortgages. During a holiday in France we realised
we could use the equity from those two apartments to buy a home outright in
France and live debt free, even if we
had little or no income.
That’s what we did. It was a struggle at first with not much income, so I took an occupational pension early, and we lived off the lump sum until my State Pension kicked in. When I qualified for my State Pension, I checked to see if there were benefits I could also claim, and found only one - the Winter Fuel Payment (WFP)! In the process I learnt that I had actually qualified seven years before I first claimed, but since I was not on any kind of benefit at that time, no one told me I could have the WFP. I was allowed to claim two years before my first year of claiming, and so received the WFP of £200 per year for 10 years.
My legal entitlement to an 'old-age risk benefit' has now gone!
We are classified now as Expats - British Citizens who have chosen to live in another country of the European Union - or I should say, I am British, Maria is Irish, but she worked in the UK for a number of years before we married.
An expatriate (often shortened to expat), is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person's upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex ("out of") and patria ("country, fatherland"). In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals or skilled workers sent abroad by their companies, rather than for all 'immigrants' or 'migrant workers'. Retirement abroad, in contrast, usually makes one an "expatriate". (all according to 'Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia'.)
We are all Expats who have also campaigned to prevent what we see as injustice, off the back of some amazing manipulation of facts and statistics by a UK Government Minister. We are British Citizens, many of us British Pensioners, proud to be British, intent on remaining British, and we will continue to campaign for our rights, whatever Brexit may bring!
We wish to dedicate this site to those many elderly UK Citizens who suffered real hardship during the winters of 2015/2016, and 2016/2017, when they found they could no longer receive this 'old-age risk benefit', which according to EU Law, they continue to be legally entitled to receive.
And, for the record, we have not given up the fight. We believe what has happened to the WFP for some, is illegal, and will eventually be proven to be so! Statistics extracted from the quarterly figures from the DWP from August 2016 show that there are 490,869 UK Pensioners living in EU/EEA Countries, so are there quite a lot of us.
What's does EU Law say? Click Here
Four years ago, I saw some information concerning a Freedom of Information request submitted by Brian Cave, a long-time campaigner for Expat rights. I did what they call an annotation, and found myself joining in this fight to stop the Government from removing WFP from a number of Expats. What really got me going was to learn from a speech by George Osborne that France was being declared a ‘hot’ country. I began to do my own research, and this website has been constructed to highlight much of what we have unearthed. The pages on this site were compiled by me, but contributed to, and endorsed by many others, including Brian Cave (pictured alongside).