As the new coalition Government prepares its emergency budget for the 22nd June, recent reports seem to suggest that even expats could be affected by proposed cuts. An article courtesy of the Daily Telegraph discussed the fact that according to a senior government source, the winter fuel allowances of nearly 65,000 expat pensioners in the EU could soon be under investigation.
Currently British expats aged over 60 and living in the EU claim payments worth up to £400 each winter to help with their heating bills and in 2008-2009 these payments cost the British government around £13.8 million. Undoubtedly with Britain’s fiscal deficit posing a considerable threat to the economy, belt tightening is a natural consequence however the fact remains that this annual pay out to expats equates to less than 1 per cent of the total winter fuel allowances allocated by the Department of Work and Pensions.
Whatever the outcome of the debate, the next couple of weeks promises to be an interesting time for expats and UK residents alike.