Monday, June 28, 2010

EU Petition reply

To view Index of postings on this blog....
27th June 2010
A reply from the EU Commission for Petitions was received.
The Petition was on the basis that the Double Taxation Convention France/UK discriminates between persons based on......
a. the origin of the income and b. the nationality of the person.   
The reply quotes a case-law of the Court of Justice which in effect says that nations can determine taxation on the basis of the national origin and form of the income.  
It would seem to be ignored that this results in a differential of taxation load!
The reply can be viewed at.   Reply from EU.
This is of course disappointing.  One must remember that even if such discrimination does not contravene EU law, a contravention occurs internally  within the Double Taxation Convention. Article 25 of the DTC states "Individuals of a contracting State shall not be subjected .... to any taxation or requirement .. which is more burdensome than the taxation .. to which nationals of that other State in the same circumstances, in particular with regard to residence, are or may be subjected."  - In short a British National resident in France should not have a greater tax burden than his French neighbour with the same source and amount of income.
It is as plain as day to me that this article is infringed.
Unless some lawyer who will act 'pro bono publico' will step in, perhaps we run into a sand bank on this.  Yet a reply is still awaited from Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue on this matter.  Yet I fear the Civil Service runs the country, and no Civil Servant welcomes change! 
If ever a 'Minister for the Expatriate' is appointed,  such a person could take up the cudgel.
As I say "If one does nothing - nothing gets done."  One must fight for a just cause or else live with a conscience that one did not try.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Benefits Paid Abroad

The Blog site (Brian Cave, organiser) is most grateful to David Burrage legal advisor to the Association for the British Expatriates in Spain for distributing the following information.

This is a Legal Statement from the EU threatening Britain with action before the European Court of Justice if Britain does not comply with the law to pay the sickness benefits to expatriates.

PRESS RELEASE from BRUSSELS. 24th June 2010
View here

Explanation of the Press Release from the Spanish Association document:-

Social security: EU takes action to guarantee care benefits for Britons abroad

The European Commission has sent a formal request to the United Kingdom to pay care benefits to Britons – often pensioners – residing abroad in accordance with its obligations under EU law. Under EU rules, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance are considered 'sickness cash benefits', which UK citizens resident in another EU country are also entitled to receive. The UK authorities now have two months to respond to the request, which takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of a satisfactory response from the UK authorities, the Commission may refer the matter to the EU's Court of Justice.

The right to live and work in any other European country is a fundamental right of the EU. As part of this, the EU guarantees people the right to social security coverage if they move elsewhere in Europe.

In the UK system, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Career's Allowance are benefits which provide protection for people in need of personal care and people who look after them. Under EU rules on coordination of social security, UK citizens are entitled to receive these benefits when they are resident in another EU country.

However, in some cases, and contrary to the principle of free movement, the UK applies conditions on residence for the three benefits. In particular, among other requirements, the benefits can be conditional on the claimant having spent 26 of the previous 52 weeks in the UK (past presence test). This effectively contravenes the provisions of the EU system for coordinating social security benefits and infringes the rights of citizens living in another EU country.


The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled (in case C-299/05 on 18 October 2007) that Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Career's Allowance count as sickness cash benefits. They are therefore exportable according to EU provisions on coordination of social security (EU Regulation 1408/71 and Regulation 883/04).

Further information

Your social security rights in the EU
View here

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Health Care costs - The Dutch

The Dutch pensioner in France, Spain, and elsewhere are hit even worse than the Brits in France.
Read this article  written by the Dutch on the subject!

The European Commission must wake up to this situation.

Health Care Costs in France for Pensioners

Follow -up to posting of April 2010.
A seven page document has been sent to the new Minister of Health, Andrew Lansley. [Acknowledgement of receipt from Dept. of Health received 4th June]
I am satisfied that the OAPs in France should have no need to pay for a top-up mutuelle health insurance. By definition in European law, the Department of Health of the UK is the competent institution within the EEA to cover the social security of those who hold an E121- that is to say the needs of British OAPs resident in Europe.
It has taken me some months to gather the information on this matter!
If the UK Government would wake up to the scandal of this system, I believe that it could save more than 50 million pounds and the OAP in France the costs of the mutuelle insurance of about £550 or 630euros  (some people in their 80s are paying, for a couple, towards 3,000 euros a year!) per year per person.
The covering letter to Mr. Lansley also says:-
The above statement seems extraordinary and the situation has arisen, I am sure, without malicious intent.
The Regulations on which these payments are based are complicated and overly bureaucratic. They are based upon a system which pre-existed the accession of the United Kingdom to the EU in 1973.
In this electronic age the existing hugely inaccurate system could be replaced by another whereby the actual payments could be transmitted by electronic means, eliminating a great deal of waste.
The document is viewable at or
Please read it. It is not light reading. There are references to all the EU regulations which touch on this matter.
I will be happy to receive your observations.