Gas and electricity Updated:
Latest official figures released by the Department for Work & Pensions indicate that 12.5 million older people received the Winter Fuel Payment last year.
The figures show that, between November 2012 and May 2013, over 9 million households benefited from the allowance, which is £200 for households with someone over the female state pension age and £300 for those with someone aged 80 and above.
The universal benefit was designed to help ensure older people were able to pay their fuel bills in the cold weather, and these figures show it's having the desired effect.
And, with the addition of the Warm Home Discount scheme (where the poorest pensioners will receive £135 off their energy bill in winter 2013/14) and the increase of the Cold Weather Payment (up from £8.50p/w to £25p/w), it's hoped that older people will have sufficient help to tackle fuel poverty.
As Steve Webb, minister for pensions, commented, "Winter Fuel Payments help to keep many thousands of vulnerable older people warm during the depths of winter, and reassure them that they can turn the heating up a notch and not have to worry unnecessarily about being able to pay the bill."
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