Scotland to be spared means testing for Winter Fuel Payments
Scottish pensioners will receive Winter Fuel Payments regardless of their income, despite plans to introduce means testing in England and Wales, The Times reports.
Following the launch of the Conservative manifesto, which pledged to end the universal benefit south of the border, the Scottish Conservatives have said a Conservative government would not change the rules in Scotland, where the benefit is partly devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
A spokesperson told The Times: “We will keep winter fuel payments as they are in Scotland. We are not going to change them or introduce means-testing.”
The Resolution Foundation, a charity based in London, has suggested the cut-backs in England will limit the payments to the very poorest two million pensioners who are entitled to pensions credit, saving “in the region of £1.7 billion by taking the benefit away from 10 million pensioners”.
The savings will help fund Conservative plans to boost social care spending by £2.8 billion.
The Barnett consequentials from that extra spending will provide the Scottish Government with enough money to maintain Winter Fuel Payments as a universal benefit.