Just why are we knocking £50 off the Winter Fuel Allowance?

I see that David Davis has joined a cross-party list of seventy MPs who are opposing the reduction in the Winter Fuel Allowance.  Meantime I’d like to see it cut to zero, at least for middle-class and better-off folk who don’t need it.  Given the state of the economy, I’m almost embarrassed when the payment arrives.  I don’t need it, and losing it would help me to look those really suffering from the cut-backs in the eye.
 
Of course at one level, the reason for the cut is obvious: to save money.  But wouldn’t means-testing it save more money?  Of course that would cause a little embarrassment to David Cameron, who promised he wouldn’t, but then so many Conservative and Lib-Dem pledges have fallen victim to circumstance and to the exigencies of Coalition, that surely we can stand one more?  Make life (and administration) easy: scrap the Allowance and add £250 to the state pension (though this too would need to be means-tested).
 
I wonder whether they’ve forgotten that some 4.6 million UK families are estimated to be in “fuel poverty”?  I bet they’re trying to forget that our current green energy policies are set to drive up electricity prices by 50% in a decade, and drive another million families into fuel poverty.  Surely this is an argument for changing the policy, or helping the fuel-poor.
 
Of course maybe they’re simply true believers in Global Warming, and have decided that as the world gets warmer, the need for a fuel allowance will fade away.  But they should not forget that more “excess deaths” (in the ghoulish argot of demographic statisticians) are caused by winter cold than by summer heat.
 
Or (less likely but more exciting) have they seen the light?  Have they noticed that there has been no global warming for well over ten years (or fifteen, according to Prof Phil Jones of the UEA CRU)?  Do they realise that if recent patterns continue (and there is no reason why they shouldn’t) we’re more likely to see a couple of decades of cooling than further warming?  Are they trying to whittle away the Winter Fuel Allowance before significant cooling sets in, for fear that the demand and the cost might otherwise become too great?
 
I wish.

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