Community Comments – 1998

THERE is a very significant (and growing) population of residents in Spain who receive old age pensions from the UK.

Unlike those who were not resident in a European Member State prior to Brexit, these pensioners are entitled to annual increases, currently calculated according to the triple lock formula which means that in 2023 and 2024 their pensions will have shot up thanks to the general rise in salaries and the cost of living in Britain.

If however you live in one of 25 European Countries but not Cyprus, France, Malta or Spain then you are entitled to receive the winter fuel allowance but for those of us who live in Spain it is apparently too warm to qualify although if you enjoy retirement in Italy then you do.

One reader is not happy with this state of affairs and has created a petition as it can get a bit chilly when you live in a property with marble floors, single glazing, no central heating and no insulation.


I have a published UK government petition to reinstate winter fuel allowance for UK ex-pats living in France and Spain.

I have been trying without success to establish the parameters used almost ten years ago that changed the average winter temperature in both counties. My understanding is that that the 7 Canary islands were used for Spain and similar warm overseas territories for France and Spain that resulted in both countries having their UK ex-pats winter fuel allowance withdrawn.

I am writing articles for English language publications in Spain and wish to be accurate with the information that I provide. With over 500,000 UK Ex-pats living in France and Spain many of whom are retired pensioners I hoped that you could provide the required information or direct me to the UK government department that will.

Best regards

Stuart Burton



My mother ( 72 years old ) is a German expat.

She received neither a German one-off payment (inflation, energy prices) for German pensioners nor a one-off payment in Spain (despite registration). The one-off payment only applies to German pensioners who live in Germany or only to Spanish pensioners.

You can see that people who have paid taxes all their lives are the stupid ones in the end. Every idler gets something, except the decent ones.

It’s not just an English problem!


Ralph Johne


Brexit Retirees

Without doubt we “Love Spain’ and the people, everything was better there.Wish we had not left.
Only on a mini break in 2002 turned into our dream of buying a home in Spain. There were many paper and financial cost but those are our happiest memories ever.
Watching programs showing life in the Sun should forewarn applicants of all the hidden costs,
Add 20% to the initial 20% purchase and legal costs. ( Check out the Wills are legal and include World Wide assets. UK House prices escalated £200,00 more over the 14 years. Selling of the Spanish property price (Oct 2019) did not even reach our original 2002 costs. Many fellow returnees lost a lot of money!
Sadly do not think of returning without a large downsizing. It may just be a dream , so hope it is not a nightmare!

Anne Mitchell


Old smells

What wonderful article. It sums up everything we know and love about Spain, past and present. I was reading the article to my wife and when I go tot the last paragraph about the aromas in current taxis she said without hesitation “air freshener”.

Iain Chester


Invisible Slavery

The only difference in Murcia is there are no strawberries, but watermelons, iceberg lettuce and many other fruits and vegetables. These poor workers are living and working in terrible conditions, shanty towns, made of pallets and plastic sheeting for shelter… one of which caught on fire a couple of years ago; fortunately, there were no injuries.
They are hauled around the countryside, squashed inside very old diesel vehicles, which belch out thick, black exhaust smoke, often at break-neck speeds.
This is a disgusting practice, but while there are a few Spanish producers who are getting very rich, and northern Europeans are getting plenty of fruit and vegetables, nothing changes, and these poor people will continue to be exploited.
Now lets just mention the HUGE amount of water that is needed to produce these succulent fruit, in a dry land, where habitats are suffering and wildlife is dying… … …. Shame! Shame on Spain and the EU!


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