Conservative manifesto 2017: '10 million pensioners to lose winter fuel payments'

Robin De Peyer
Cut: millions of pensioners are expected to lose winter fuel payments under the plans: PA

Ten million people will lose their winter fuel allowance if the Conservatives win the General Election, experts have said.

Theresa May announced plans to means test winter fuel payments as she launched the Tory manifesto on Thursday.

It was one of a number of measures which also included scrapping David Cameron’s ‘triple lock’ on pensions, meaning they will rise in line with whichever of earnings or inflation is higher. Her predecessor had guaranteed rises of at least 2.5 per cent annually.

Labour said the plans showed the Conservatives were once again the “nasty party”. Jeremy Corbyn’s party highlighted analysis by living standards think tank the Resolution Foundation which suggested only the two million very poorest of the country’s 12 million pensioners would continue receiving the payments. The measure would save £1.7 billion, the research found.

A Tory source was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying: “Most people are going to lose their winter fuel allowance.”

First manifesto: Prime Minister Theresa May (REUTERS)

Mr Corbyn said: “Theresa May's nasty party has launched a shameful attack on older people - introducing a compassion tax to force those in need of social care to pay for it with their family home.

"Labour is standing up for pensioners and guaranteeing the triple lock on state pensions, as well as giving social care the funding it needs.”

Another measure announced in the manifesto, scrapping a planned £72,000 cap on social care bills, was denounced by the author of a seminal report on the issue, Sir Andrew Dilnot, who said pensioners would be left "helpless" to control costs.

Instead, Mrs May offered a guarantee that no-one will be forced out of their home or left with assets of less than £100,000 as a result of care costs. Increased spending will be funded by withdrawing the £300 winter fuel payment from wealthier pensioners.

Launching the manifesto on Thursday, Mrs May said: "There is no Mayism. There is good solid Conservatism, which puts the interests of the country and the interests of ordinary working people at the heart of everything."