The country is broke, as it was when I was born.
I am in receipt of a benefit called State Retirement Pension. I also receive a Winter Fuel Payment (WFP) of £200.
WFP is a universal benefit, paid to all pensioners, rich or poor.
Just for once, there isn’t a means test which excludes people who have lived modestly and providently.
Several years ago an actress (Helen Mirren?) and similar well heeled people said they didn’t really need the WFP and others have said they don’t need it and give the money to charity.
I have long wished that the government (any party) would put a paragraph in the WFP covering letter, saying that if people wish to send some or all of it back they could do so in the following ways, etc, etc.
There could be two paybacks to choose – the general exchequer and the NHS.
In this COVID-19 upheaval, pensioners haven’t had weekly incomes affected, but savings may well have been.
If there were such a payback facility on the WFP letter and assuming I’m still alive in late autumn (I never know the day or the hour) what would I do?
I’d keep £170 and pay £15 to the general exchequer and pay £15 to the NHS.
There wouldn’t be any commitment for another year.
It’s time for my 4pm Dettol tablet. After I’ve taken it I’ll drop a line to the Chancellor with my suggestion.