Tuesday, May 25, 2010

HEALTH MATTERS - Monthly Comment April 2010

A further item has been posted on this subject - Refer to the INDEX for developments.
Few expatriate OAPs in Europe realise that they enjoy health-care support because of EU agreements and THAT THE FINANCE COMES FROM THE UK – in effect from the NHS.

The EU Regulations (essentially 1408/1971 and 883/2004) state that the costs of health care for the Old Age Pensioner is the responsibility of the State to whom the OAP has paid his/her social security contributions. That State will pay your Old Age Pension and support your old age health care! This State is defined as the ‘competent State’ - For almost all expatriate elderly Britons this competent State is The United Kingdom.
Clearly it must be understood that if you have not paid into the Social Security regime of France (or other country) because you had not lived there in an employed category, there is no logical reason why you should be supported under the health-care system of France (or other country)! Only an EU agreement gives you this support. And someone must pay for it! Let us look more closely….

A quote from Article 24 of EU Regulation 883/2004….
“1. A person who receives a pension or pensions under the legislation of one or more Member States and who is not entitled to benefits in kind under the legislation of the Member State of residence shall nevertheless receive such benefits for himself and the members of his family, insofar as he would be entitled thereto under the legislation of the Member State or of at least one of the Member States competent in respect of his pensions, if he resided in that Member State. The benefits in kind shall be provided at the expense of the institution referred to in paragraph 2 by the institution of the place of residence, as though the person concerned were entitled to a pension and benefits in kind under the legislation of that Member State.”
The institution referred to in the following paragraph 2 is indicated as the “competent institution of the Member State” in effect - the NHS. In other words: - you should be treated by the health system of France (your place of residence) and charged to the institution of your competent State (the UK).

Read the highlighted parts again --- It says that you will receive benefits insofar as you would be entitled under the legislation of the competent State (the UK) as if you resided in that Member State (the UK).
That says that if you get 100% cover in the UK you should also get it in France! Or anywhere else in the EEA.
Under the above Article it would seem that we have two situations – firstly The State of Residence is obliged to treat you as though you come under the social care legislation of that State, but the competent State should also ensure that you have the benefits as though you were resident in the competent State. The only way to resolve this is in France to be treated as a French citizen would be (which one is), but that the full cost is picked up by the UK. I have an uncomfortable feeling that the UK is being charged by France at somewhere about the full cost and that the British OAP resident in France is being asked to find up to 30% of the cost as well - via a ‘mutuelle’ or his pocket! This 30% (approx) should not be necessary.

To the current date every EEA country has transferred grants between themselves of a sum of money to cover the health costs of their expatriate OAPs. (Regulation 574/1972 Article 95 – now 38 years old and before the time of electronic data  transmission! And before the UK joined the EU in 1973!) The calculation of these grants are somewhat convoluted.

Two supplementary articles are in consequence appended to this introduction.
Click on a title to view.
2. The costing of the health support of the expatriate OAP in Europe.
This item is updated with additional statistics from the Dept of Health London April 14th. 2010
Is the UK and the British Citizen being ripped off by France? The charge to the UK for pensioners in France is 192% higher than for pensioners in Italy and healthcare in Italy is totally free. This link also links in turn to all the relevant legal extracts. It also indicates the way forward.  

You may well find these items interesting reading.
The whole sorry affair indicates that we need a Minister for the European Expatriate in Westminster. After the general election it will be necessary to write to the Minister of Health.  If necessary a draft letter will be published next month.  In the meanwhile... You may wish to report this matter to your MP or send a petition to the EU Commission.  For  ideas contact me DEBOUTclick
In the meanwhile if you live in France you  must follow the French law and pay up!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Double Taxation again -updated 10/03/2011

UPDATED 12th March 2011   ----- of individuals and companies in Europe.
This includes many British pensioners who have ‘UK Government Pensions’! Teachers, Fire and Police, Military, LGOs and so on in France.
At the end of April 2010 The European Commission launched an online public consultation to ask anyone for information on double taxation problems that they have encountered within the EU. The consultation ran until 30 June 2010.
EU Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud, Algirdas Šemeta, said: “Double taxation can deter cross-border activity in the EU and the functioning of the Internal Market. I am determined to tackle this obstacle. This consultation will help us to assess the real scale and financial impact of double taxation for citizens and businesses. I will then work towards finding the most appropriate and effective solutions."
The aim of the public consultation was to identify clearly the nature of the problems that EU taxpayers are facing and the extend to which many individuals and companies are encountering the problem of being taxed on the same income or profits in two or more different Member States.
Mr. Semeta indicated areas of difficulty for all kinds of taxpayers. This Blog has demonstrated clearly that for the British pensioner in France it means that they cannot benefit from tax rebates on tax paid to the UK.   Mr Semeta said ‘it is not clear how well the Double Taxation Conventions work’. This blog knows they do not! Look at Spreadsheet (click) –If your income is middling and you need a home-help it affects you.
The EU consultation concerns all direct taxes – The Commission is also inviting suggestions on how to effectively and rapidly remedy the double taxation identified.
Following the end of the consultation period [JUNE 30th 2010], the Commission published a summary of all contributions received. It analysed the replies in detail and used them in preparing possible initiatives for EU action in the field of direct taxation.
Anyone was invited to reply to the consultation by completing the questionnaire online
The Blog’s author completed a personal questionnaire . SEE Concern3 (click) on this site. The published report was linked here -
[UPDATE - April 2013 - The report seems to have been taken down. - The following link may give some guidance?]

I have to say - It doesn't get one very far! My comments were noted and shared I see by a Belgian.
Further recommendations are promised!

Postal address: European Commission
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union
Rue de Spa 3, Office 8/007
B-1049 Brussels
Fax: +32-2-29 56377