In December 2012 the Met Office delivered their report to the DWP on the average winter temperatures of every country within the EEA. It took us a whole year to get sight of a copy of that document, having to use Freedom of Information requests, and it makes for some interesting reading.
Incidentally, in a separate Freedom of Information response, the Met Office told us in a letter: “DWP interpreted the data from this report to inform its policy for future eligibility to Winter Fuel Payments.”
There was no need for the Met Office to have written in that addition, and that makes the comment all the more revealing! From the outset, we have suspected some kind of 'hidden agenda' in the way in which the DWP 'dodged' the issues by inventing different 'excuses'.
This illustration copies the temperature tables as published in the Met Office Report for France, Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal.
British Pensioners in four of those countries have now lost their Winter Fuel Payments, even if they had submitted a claim before the CJEU Judgment in Stewart - they are France, Greece, Spain and Portugal. We would remind you that those three countries ended up with average winter temperatures of 7.0°C, 7.1°C, and 7.3°C respectively, even though 20 Regions of those three countries had average winter temperatures BELOW that of the SW of England!
One country, Italy, will retain the Winter Fuel Payment, and yet, it is surprising to see from the illustration below that 5 Italian Regions all have average winter temperatures ‘HOTTER’ than every Region of France, 7 Regions of Greece, 11 Regions of Spain, and 3 Regions of Portugal.
British Pensioners throughout Italy will be paid WFP in November 2015!
CLICK HERE to read a reply from the Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb.