Why does the government provide a fixed payment to pensioners without ensuring that their homes are properly insulated? Of course there are problems with being interventionist and many old people might not want strangers crawling around in their loft, but it should be a priority.

Insulation gives a year on year benefit, improves the quality of life and increases the value of the housing stock. Home loft insulation costs c£250 (according to the Energy Savings Trust) and the payback is 2-6 years. The Winter Fuel Payment is £250 or £400.