Winter fuel payment: Welsh Secretary Simon Hart 'not consulted' over £100 support

The Welsh Secretary said that he hadn’t been consulted over the new payment. Credit: PA

The Finance Minister says the Welsh Government’s planned £100 winter payout won’t affect the benefits or tax of any families that claim it.

When she announced the payment, Rebecca Evans said that the Welsh Government had been in talks with the UK Government to ensure it wouldn’t lead to any unintended problems for those who’ll benefit from it.

However the UK Government’s Welsh Secretary said that he hadn’t been consulted.

Those who are eligible for the payment will receive £100 in cash. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Earlier this year a Welsh Government bonus payment to care workers of £500 was taxed because no agreement had been reached with the UK Treasury to exempt it.

Rebecca Evans said that shouldn’t be the case with the £100 winter payment.

She said: “We have worked closely with [UK Government departments] Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Her Majesty’s Treasury to ensure that people who do have the £100 payment to help with their fuel costs over the winter aren't penalised in terms of their benefits.

"So I'm pleased we were able to get to a positive conclusion on that with the UK Government."

The UK Government’s Welsh Secretary said he hadn’t been involved in any such discussions.

Referring to the row over the earlier £500 payment, Simon Hart told reporters: "We have been here before with Welsh government on previous occasions where they announced a sort of handout figure, and then said afterwards, retrospectively, ‘by the way, please don't tax it.’

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans Credit: Senedd TV

"The Treasury always get quite frustrated when they are asked to retrospectively adjust... particularly where legislation is needed - they can’t just exempt people from income tax without passing the necessary law.

"So it was news to me, put it this way, that she has asked the Treasury for special dispensation in this area.

"She may have done but it hasn't come across my desk, but it has in the past. And in the past, it's always been rather late in the day and after the announcement was made and they're putting the Treasury in an impossible position."