POLL: Should universal winter fuel payments be scrapped and replaced with a means-tested benefit?

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Have your say

Pensioners will lose their universal winter fuel payments under plans set out by the Conservatives to help fund social care.

The benefit, worth between £100 and £300, will be means-tested and targeted at the least well-off pensioners instead of being a universal benefit paid to all. It would require those still entitled to the benefit to apply rather than being given it automatically, and the Government would use money saved would be used to help fund social care.

But the move prompted an angry reaction on our Facebook page.

Andrew Marc Halverson said: "The shame. Regardless of your political allegiance, how can anyone, Tory or not, genuinely support these proposals???

"You work hard your whole life, working, paying taxes, national insurance and hope and expect the state will be able to give you basic care in your last few years should you need it. But no, after saving and paying your mortgages off the state are planning to strip you of your assets and home leaving you with nothing to pay for your basic care."

Sue Phillpot said: "People work hard all their lives and buy there houses for later life also so they know there children have security so why the hell Government have to put this into consideration really bugs me they do anything to get money out of people."

Janet Scott Welsh said: "The middle people are the ones that have worked , the ones that are given because they are lower paid are mostly the ones that haven't worked a bloody day in their life."

John Harvey said: "So you work hard all your life and save for retirement. then have to pay care costs,while others who blew all the money on fags,booze,and gambling, get a payout. now does that sound fair to anyone."

David Ord said: "An utter disastrous Tory manifesto launch.. Removing school meals from kids, Death Tax on elderly to pay for social care, Winter fuel allowance means tested yet those workers with small occupational pensioners, who did the right thing and saved for retirement would lose winter fuel allowances of up to £300.

"Triple pension lock removed, fox hunting back, grammar schools back, more attacks on disabled via more punitive assessments, tax burden shifted from high earners to low and middle income earners, commitment to crack down on corporate tax dodgers removed, pro-fracking, higher rail fares, zero hours contracts to continue."

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There were some who defended the proposal, however.

Bill Walton said: "A calculated risk. It's a shame those in the middle will lose their winter fuel payments but the current care system is not sustainable. At least they are increasing the threshold. I've known people lose their life savings to pay for care of their spouses.

Gary 'Nev' Mackinnon said: "Think of all of the money that will be saved by stopping 'winter fuel' payments to pensioners that are millionaires!!!!!!!!!!"