It could help save some of the millions of pounds currently paid in winter fuel allowance, but not target the vunerable people who need it the most.
A bone on contention with most people is the fact that people are getting the winter fuel allowance who do not need it – people living abroad, people with large properties etc.
Could this allowance not be "means tested" by being linked to Council Tax?
Council Tax is paid by people in this country when they live in a property. So as an example, someone who is living in spain would not be paying council tax on a property in England, or if they are still registered, would be getting a discount such as "second home". If they are getting this discount, they would not be allowed the winter fuel payment, as they are not living in the property.
Also council tax bands – most elderly people live in a property in bands A, B, or C. a property with a band D is normally a large family property. Winter fuel payments could be linked to the property band, so as those in Bands A – C get the payments. Those who live in the larger properties shouldn't need it, therefore would not qualify. That would allieviate the millionaire pensioners who still get the payment.
As local government already have this data, it could be shared with the DWP (as other information currently is) so would not cost a great deal to implement.