Responding to a report published today that says Winter Fuel Payment should be means-tested to help pay for reforms to the care system, Age Cymru’s Director of Influencing and Programme Development Victoria Lloyd says:
“Reforming the way that we pay for care is one of the main challenges facing government, but we do not believe that removing the Winter Fuel Payment should be the price we pay for a fair social care system that meets the needs of older people.
“The current system of paying for care is complicated, confusing and a lottery, making it impossible to adequately prepare for the costs you might incur and this is why we support the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission on paying for care.
“We accept that the country is facing difficult financial times, and that the money to pay for introducing these changes has to come from somewhere, but robbing Peter to pay Paul is not the way ahead.
“Means-testing the Winter Fuel Payment would mean that many people who should get help to pay their fuel bills miss out, as one-third of people entitled to Pension Credit do not currently receive it.
“People who are isolated and vulnerable are the least likely to claim means-tested benefits, so the universal Winter Fuel Payment ensures that the neediest members of our communities receive the help they need.”