Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The monthly comment - The Migration of the OAPs

The UK Government statistics on benefits reveal a wealth of information about the payments to Old Age Pensioners across the World. You can access it via the following link......
You need to click onto the line Benefits/Scheme and select. With a little practice you can get the hang of how to use this ‘Tabulation Tool’. Although the information is fascinatingly extensive, the Winter Fuel Payments are absent.  Further the information only exists since 2002.

Since 2002 the proportion of OAPs leaving the UK has increased year by year so that the total % living abroad has risen from 8.2% in 2002 to 9.3% in 2009. In all 31,660 OAPs moved abroad in 2008/9. About 57% of those migrating last year went to live in Europe, and there were fairly large contingents also to the expected English speaking countries of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA (which at 3,260 was the largest receiver of all in the world outside Europe). One thousand more was added to the statistic of ‘Abroad – not known’ location.
Within Europe the number moving to Spain averages about 6,700 a year [see further note below]. To France about 4,300 a year. The number in both countries has more than doubled in seven years. The greatest annual % increase is to Bulgaria and also Greece (but since numbers are low such a statistic is unhelpful in any analysis).
The number of male and female OAPs in each country reveals some interesting figures (see further below). In Spain in 2009 there were 16,110 more females receiving the OAP than males. In France the figure is 9,550. The proportion of women to men is however lower than in the UK, though quite extraordinarily it is much higher in Germany where there are more female British OAPs as male in every age group and twice as many overall!

Click on the images to enlatge them.
 What do these figures tell us?
1. That increasingly, little by little, the elderly population prefer not to live in the UK.
Why? This ought to be an issue discussed by the politicians.
2. The excess of women over men is largely explained by the fact that the age group of men between 60 - 64 is not recorded. Over the age of 80 there is a increasing excess of females. There is a considerable number of very elderly women probably living alone amongst the OAPs in France and Spain. These women are less likely to be ‘worldly-wise’. They are probably not computer literate. This group is most likely not to bother with the issues of the Winter Fuel Payment (and almost certainly do not receive it!), or the vote, or be aware of this blog site.
There are 32,320 OAPs over eighty in Europe excluding the UK and Ireland. 
Over ninety there are 3,430.
Excess of very elderly women v. men:-  over eighty, by 10,760 - over ninety  by 1,270 (37%).
If we add in an equal number of men as there are of women in the 60-64 age bracket, then the numbers of elderly over 60 for France increase by 10,000 and the numbers for Spain 16,000.
FURTHER:- anecdotal evidence supported by unofficial estimates would suggest that in Spain and France there are large numbers of OAPs who spend the winter in those countries.  Probably some numbers spend more than 6 months a year outside the UK, though claiming permanent residence in the UK.  In the Alicante region alone it is claimed that the true  "winter" resident numbers of UK OAPs is about 180,000, vastly in excess of the official count. This practice is driving a cart through the regulations. These quasi residents are probably receiving the WFP ; paying taxes in the UK; and perhaps saving the UK some funding on the NHS.  This is a muddle which needs attention - but NOT the clunking iron fist of regulatory power!

Please write to your MP or a Minister or any political leader or otherwise and ask......
"What interest is your next Government going to take in the Welfare of the British pensioner who lives in the European Union." [The wider EU is today a new political force which enfolds the diffuse responsibilities of all its member States. Any citizen of any State should have the continuing respect and oversight of the member State of which they are a birthright national. The right to representation. The right to enjoy the privileges of their national state. The right to be free from discrimination in any form. A further posting exists discussing this point. click to view.Please use your vote (if you can have one!)
You might well refer to this blog and add anything else that is personally relevant to yourself.