Thursday, August 26, 2010

Restoration of Benefits (DLA,AA,CA)

 A letter has been received by David Burrage, legal advisor to the Association of British Expatriates in Spain, who is an expert in European Law, from the EU Commission on the subject of the repayment of suspended benefits – Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carers Allowance.

Some people, entitled to one or other of these allowances, have had them discontinued when they emigrated from the UK to another EEA country. After a legal battle the UK had consented to pay these allowances back to October 2007.
Now the EU has said that they should be paid in arrears back to the time of departure from the UK.
Those who appealed against this suspension of benefit have the right to have this earlier disallowed decision set aside and remade, with an entitlement to a full recover of your benefit from the day following its withdrawal.

The final part of the letter from the EU Commission of 20/08/2010 indicates:-
That judgement is, in the light of a decision given by the Court subsequent to it, based on a misinterpretation of Community law which was adopted without a question being referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling; and
The national competent institutions (i.e the UK Dept of Work and Pensions) therefore have an obligation under EU law to review their initial decisions on the suspension of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance, to reopen that decision if necessary and pay the benefits in arrears for the whole period of unjustified suspension of those benefits.
From this judgement it is also clear that it is important for the EU citizens to appeal any decision with which they are not satisfied.

Some people get ‘warmed up’ about the payment of these benefits. The scenarios below puts this in perspective.
1. Let us suppose that a young couple has moved to France leaving elderly parents in the UK. Eventually one parent is left, with some increasingly disabling malady. In the UK she/he would receive an allowance to help with the difficulties of life. If she/he moved to France a few years ago to live with their children, such allowances would have been stopped.
2. An elderly couple decide to move to France for the improved quality of life. One of them is crippled and receives an attendance allowance. Their income dropped because the allowance was suspended.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Political Representation for Expatriates in Europe.

A Plea for information 
Representation of British Citizens in Europe at Westminster
If any readers have tried to contact  any  MP or Government Office at any time and have not had any satisfactory response, can they please contact me?.  You may even have had a brush-off with such a retort as 'I/we only deal with problems from constituents resident in Britain'.
The organiser of this blog site is in correspondence with David Lidington, Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on this matter.
He wrote to me in the following terms:-
"Expatriate citizens contact government about a wide range of issues covering the responsibilities of different government departments and agencies and I think that it is both fair and logical to treat representatives from expatriates in exactly the same way that we do those from people resident in the UK, where it is the constituency MP who takes the case up with the appropriate Minister.”

This comment is, as someone commented to me, baloney.  After 15 years out of Britain no expatriate has a representative MP, some never have had.  You cannot then discuss your pension, your taxation (yes- quite a few expatriates are taxed in the UK) or your welfare problems, if there is no-one there to whom you can write!  Hardly 'fair and logical' . The reasons why the British Citizen in Europe should have representation in Westminster are quite varied.  They are laid out in this blogsite - please view Concern 2 (see Index)  Over many years others have written about this matter, I note particularly the Var Village Voice in Provence, and the Riviera Reporter.  It is time to put the pressure on again.  With your help!
The UK is out of line with most other major European countries. France has recently declared its intention to allow French residents in the UK to have an elected representative in the Assembly.
As a first stage towards appropriate representation,  I am supporting the notion of a Minister for the British Citizen in Europe.  Such a person could get to grips with the intricate issues that face various British expatriates.  You may not realise, for instance,  that under European Law, if you receive the British Old Age Pension, then the United Kingdom is responsible (the 'competent' State, as they say) for the support of your social welfare - it is not France! (or any other EU State).  France is not responsible for paying for your welfare.  There are 400,000 British OAPs in Europe beyond the UK.  Does the UK Government have your interests at heart?  There are many more younger British people.  Their situation in the developing social structure of  Europe should also be a concern for the UK  Government.
This issue is not just about 'the vote'.  If you do not want a vote, then you need not bother to exercise it.  It is about having politicians in Westminster who care about the needs of the British Citizen in the European Community.  Who ensure for example that we are not ignored when treaties are arranged.  Who demonstrate that the British Government  values our contribution to the European culture.
A dossier of poor dealing would be helpful.  Please send to me at
Items from residents in Spain, Italy and Germany and elsewhere are as welcome as from France.
or if you do not possess email then post to le Fourquet, 46300, Gourdon, France.
So please report your experiences with UK politicians and bureaucrats,  including favourable ones.
Brian Cave

Friday, August 13, 2010

2010 OAPs migration (also see updates- via Index)

To return to start of the blog and Index click here.

British Old Age Pensioner Statistics for February 2010 have been published (August 2010).
The inexorable proportional rise continues.
The  % of OAPs living outside the UK world wide has risen to about 10% from 9.3% in 2009. [1,163,480 out of 12,487,070]
0.79% of all OAPs live in Spain, where there are now over 99,000.
France has now over 51,000.
Now over 9.3% of all OAPs live in Europe beyond the UK.
These demographic changes must surely bring about political changes. 
The link to this heading  gives access to the latest circular from the Public Services Pensioners Council about reduced future increases in public pensions as a consequence of the emergency budget of June 2010.