Thursday, January 1, 2015

Liars - Damned Liars and benders of the truth - & the Department of Work & Pensions

There are Liars, Damned Liars, and the manipulation of statistics 
by the UK Dept of Work & Pensions
encouraged by the Daily Mail
Truth about Winters in Europe –
British Elderly Citizens in Europe are Cold. Cold cold…..

Just as I was yesterday, I am typing Emails sitting up in bed. I am  fully clothed in three jumpers, two pairs of trousers and a track suit.  My dear husband, similarly dressed, is tucked up beside me
“I am having to survive on my pension of £5300 per year. I have several friends here who all get the allowance (THE WFP) – note she did not.
when we arrived in France aged 60, we were in good health.  However, as the years go on, many of us are beset by various illnesses and the frailty of old age.  I have had several operations and many investigations in hospital for various internal and ophthalmic problems.  My husband had a hip replacement three years ago and two other operations since then.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago, for which he is being treated with chemotherapy.   I am, of course, at the age of 77, his only carer.  To read more go to

France and Spain and of course the rest of Europe are frequently colder than Britain in Winter . Britain ‘enjoys’ the warming effect of the Gulf Stream
See this map for 3.00 a.m. on the 30th December 2014
(map complied at the Climate Unit- the University of Maine – published every day)

What follows is an edited form of a deeper analysis of the manipulation by the DWP, of the true statistics by a colleague Roger Boaden – The original is here
The untruths of the Dept of Work and Pensions.
The DWP claim that France and Spain are HOT countries in the winter!
The Daily Mail reports and relishes, nay even gloats over the plight of British Citizen Pensioners in France and Spain  - visit
How the DWP promotes its untruths.
The UK’s Met Office produced a report (Dec 2012) for the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), which listed temperatures for the countries identified above, as follows:
Ireland:                  5.5°C  
United Kingdom:    4.1°C               SW England:    5.6°C  
Italy:                      5.7°C  
France:                  4.9°C
France after
      Adjustment:      7.0°C   + including tropical island temperatures from Caribbean & Indian Ocean
Spain:                    7.2°C
Spain after
      Adjustment:      7.3°C   + including the archipelago of the Canary Islands

[NOTE WELL -- all of the above listed temperatures fall below 8°C]

This figure of 8.0°C is significant. A UK Government publication, ‘Cold Weather Plan for England 2014’ states the following:  ‘…. the negative health effects of cold weather start to occur at relatively moderate mean outdoor temperatures (5-8°C depending on region), and days at these temperatures occur much more frequently than days where the temperature is 2°C or less.’  And then the Cold Weather Plan goes on to say:  ‘Heating your home to at least 18°C is particularly important if you have reduced mobility, are 65 and over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease. Having room temperatures slightly over 18°C could be good for your health.’

So how come some countries have been declared ‘Hot’?

The statements in above cited official UK Government Publication are clear - if you have outdoor temperatures of less than 8°C, then you need indoor heating to the level of 18°C!  That same assessment concerning risks to health must surely be applicable for ALL British Pensioners wherever they may live!

Not it seems, a view shared by the DWP!  Ministers have declared France and Spain as ‘hot’ countries where elderly British Pensioners do not need heat during the winter months.  The word ‘hot’ is just not true. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, have both made statements concerning the Winter Fuel Payments, which said: “… people in hot countries will no longer get it. It is, after all, a payment for winter fuel.”  How do you heat a home without winter fuel?  The elderly in France and Spain and further off in Europe need winter heating!

So, how is Winter defined?

The DWP decided that the temperatures they have used, had to be based on their definition of winter of 1 November to 31st March - 151 days - instead of the normal definition of winter, which is recognised right across the World as December to February (DJF) - 90 days. One quarter of the year

DWP has classified as ‘hot’ an average winter temperature of 7.0°C covering the complete period of 151 days.  In order for such a level of average temperatures to be realised, there will be many days on which temperatures fall well below that level of 7.0 degrees during five months!  And, as a direct consequence, the overall average is in fact increased, making it appear warmer.

What lies behind this decision of the DWP?
Is it not obvious, that the policy objective of Iain Duncan Smith, was to remove Winter Fuel Payments from the maximum possible number of British Pensioners. British Pensioners are British Pensioners, wherever they may live, and they should all be treated in exactly the same way, and with an equality of care!

British Expat Pensioners are a far too easy a target for Ministers to attack, and we can see from the sustained policy over a period of two years, how Ministers and officials sought to denigrate them.  Newspapers like the Daily Mail have been only too happy to run headlines which poke fun and sneer at those who have chosen to live in places which will give them a few more hours of sunshine in their twilight years.  And anyway, not all British Pensioners live on the Mediterranean - the majority live inland and with substantive regional differences, they experience some pretty severe weather from time to time.  Iain Duncan Smith and his colleagues at the DWP have used, what can only be described as a deceitful and cruel policy, to achieve their objectives!

As a result, they have breached the rights of British citizen choosing to live elsewhere in the European Union, under the EU Regulation 883/2004, and are in contravention of Judgments of the CJEU in Newton (C-356/89) and in Stewart (C-503/09).
This is discrimation against British Citizens on the basis of falsified country wide average temperatures (achieved especially in the case of France by incorporating temperatures of tropical islands).  A temperature discrimination is not used for residents in the UK.  Therefore there is no uniformity of treatment across the EU for the British Pensioner citizen.   The UK Government is grossly discriminating in its treatment of its own nationals.  That many who reside in upland and inland areas of several countries are left to go without.  They appear to be of no concern to the British Government.

What  can you do to help – Tweet or retweet this.
Tweet to Matt Chorley the author of the Daily Mail article.  @MattChorley
Post on Facebook.

Write to or send this item to  your MP addresses are at
To the DWP [Iain Duncun Smith] –
As a guide to find MPs and MEPs use your last post code in the UK.