BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK Politics
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Interviews 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Tuesday, 19 December, 2000, 17:29 GMT
100m still unclaimed in winter payments
December 1999
The extra cash is designed to stave off the winter cold
Nearly three quarters of a million men entitled to backdated winter fuel payments worth up to 140 each have failed to apply for them, according to ministers.

This leaves over a 100m unclaimed.

The men aged 60-64 are eligible for the payments following a European Court of Justice ruling last December that it was discriminatory for women to receive the benefits at 60 while men had to wait until 65.

Liberal Democrat social security spokesman Steve Webb said the failure to pay out the 100m over the last 12 months was "yet another administrative bungle" by the government.

He said the difficulty experienced in handing out this relatively simple benefit augured badly for the government's "fiendishly complicated" pension proposals.

This is a fiasco of the government's own making

Steve Webb

In a parliamentary written answer, pensions minister Jeff Rooker said that 976,495 of the 1.7 million men believed to be eligible for the back payments, covering winters from 1997 to 2000, had submitted claims and been paid.

'No money by Christmas'

There is no deadline for applications, but Professor Webb said that those who had not yet claimed would not receive their money in time for Christmas.

He said: "This is a fiasco of the government's own making. The winter fuel payment scheme was obviously discriminatory.

"Even with a year to put things right, the government has still failed to track down these men," he said.

Any man who was aged 60-64 between 1997 and 2000 and believes he may be entitled to a back payment should call the DSS winter fuel payments helpline on 08459 151515.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

04 Dec 00 | Business
Fuel bill payouts go unclaimed
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK Politics stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK Politics stories