Changes in the rules concerning winter fuel allowances in the UK mean that, even if you did not qualify when you lived in Britain, you can still apply. Pam and I sent off our applications a couple of weeks ago and are now waiting for our replies.
There are those in government in the UK that think we should not be eligible for an allowance under any circumstances. They believe that living in Spain means we don’t need assistance with our heating bills, after all Spain is a Mediterranean country with a mild climate all year round.
Let me put them straight on that - in winter it gets cold. Maybe it is not as cold as in the UK but for those of us acclimatised to Spanish summers, winters are harsh. For example, the forecast for this week shows temperatures in the low teens during the daytime dropping to 5,6 or even 3 degrees at night. That is bitter in my book and remember we are not into the depths of winter yet.
During the summer our gas bills are in the teens of euros but in the winter they can reach three hundred euros or more when we have the central heating on all day. We don’t have cavity wall insulation nor is there a thick blanket of fibre glass in the roof. Our house is not cold in the daytime when the sun is on it but on cloudy days and at night that is a different matter.
Just like any other pensioner who happens to live in the UK, we paid our dues for the period when we were working so we should be entitled to the same benefits in retirement.