Taxing winter fuel allowance would raise £230m

Energy meterThe Government would recoup around £230 million a year if the winter fuel allowance was taxed, a Treasury minister says.

At the moment the payments of £200 to people over the women's state pension age and £300 to those over 80 are handed out tax-free.

Treasury Minister Lord Sassoon said in a written parliamentary answer that if the payments stayed the same but were subject to income tax, the Exchequer would get £230 million back in each of the next five financial years.

His response came in reply to a question from Liberal Democrat Lord Avebury, 84, who also asked about the amount that would be raised from taxing free television licences and bus passes.