Today saw John McDonnell the Labour Shadow Chancellor rip into Michael Fallon’s claim that the proposed pensioner means test for Winter Fuel Allowance would see £1.5 billion saved (and then paid into social care instead.)
The problem with this (apart from any likely savings would be lost given the cost of administering this new means test!!) is that the universally paid current Winter Fuel Allowance costs £2 billion in total.
Here are the governments own figures for the cost of the Winter Fuel Allowance:
As you can see in these official figures clawing back £1.5bn per year from the Winter Fuel Allowance mean that this leaves just £0.5bn to be paid out which means the Conservatives must be planning to take the Winter Fuel Allowance from 75% or 3 in every 4 pensioners!!
The right wing Tory media are running the (superficially correct) line that why should Mick Jagger and Alan Sugar and all other billionaires get the WFA and superficially that is a good point
The figures show that 3 in every 4 pensioners will lose the up to £300 per year Winter Fuel Allowance not just the Mick Jaggers and Alan Sugars. It is a fundamentally errant argument!
Means testing the Winter Fuel Allowance is a massive issue and a massive political mistake by Theresa May IF the reality is known by the electorate that 3 in every 4 pensioners will lose £300 per year.
Pity for Theresa May’s sake that facts can be so pesky isn’t it!!!