Numbers receiving winter fuel payments fall across Cambridgeshire

A generic stock photo of an elderly lady adjusting her thermostat on at home in Liverpool.

Winter fuel payments have dropped in Cambridgeshire over the past decade. - Credit: PA

Cambridgeshire has seen people receiving winter fuel payments plummet over the last decade, government figures reveal. 

New data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed how many people received winter fuel payments in 2019/20. 

We compared this with the number of recipients in 2009/10 - the earliest these figures were recorded. 

The payments were introduced in 1997 to tackle fuel poverty among pensioners. 

Households where someone is receiving a state pension are automatically entitled to a tax-free sum of between £100 and £300 each year towards the heating bill. 

In Huntingdonshire, 34,050 households received winter fuel payments in 2019/20 - down two per cent from 2009/10 (34,870). 

In Fenland, 21,840 households received winter fuel payments in 2019/20 - down seven per cent from 2009/10 (23,490). 

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In East Cambs 17,140 received the payments in 2019/20 - down four per cent from 2009/10 (17,820). 

In Great Britain, 11.4 million households received winter fuel payments in 2019/20 - about 10pc fewer than in 2009/10. 

The government's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) put the fall in payments over the last decade down to changes to the state pension age. 

Successive governments have raised the age of entitlement for women in line with men, which has meant fewer women could claim winter fuel payments. 

A DWP spokesperson said: "The government makes more than 11.5 million winter fuel payments totalling £2 billion a year to help people pay their heating bills. 

"Nearly all are automatic without the need to claim. 

"As the state pension age for women has increased since April 2010, it follows that the annual numbers eligible for payments will fall slightly.” 

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