This Blog discusses the problems of the British expatriate pensioner in France & Europe. If you are concerned then it is essential that you write to your MP or a Minister. Links to find your MP, and ideas for a letter are at on the right below. You can also comment or email the blog author -- see profile.
Political Action is ESSENTIAL - one must not just grouse. View "FOUR CONCERNS of this blog".
If you will, READ this item from the Guardian
I quote directly from the Guardian for Thursday October 20th 2011 (Lizzie Davies)
Tunisians abroad vote 'with hands trembling and tears flowing'
At around 10pm Tunisian time - 8am in Canberra, Australia -
Najia Oun made history. Walking into a polling booth and dropping a
little piece of paper into a transparent ballot box, she became the
first person to vote in her country's first ever free elections.
Of all places in Canberra! Canberra! The capital of Australia of all places where one million three hundred thousand British Citizen live and where very few of these British Citizens have the right to vote as British Citizens. The British Government denies this right of natural justice to its Citizens amongst the Nations. The Comity of Fairness and Decency amongst the Nations is shamed by this outrageous, dictatorial attitude. Shame!
Britain is a Nation whose politicians walk on the World Stage pronouncing that democracy is to be brought to Libya, Egypt and indeed Tunisia, and all other 'errant' nation States and yet have the gall to deny it to their fellow citizens.
Amongst these Citizens in Australia are 252,000 British Pensioners whose State Retirement Pensions are frozen by the British Government - That is to say- the Old Age Pension for which, through National Insurance Contributions throughout their working lives they thought they had paid. Many of these pensioners left Britain to join their grown up families and grandchildren. Is this such a crime, that they should be cast aside by the successive governments of a country for whom so many of them gave so much in conflicts and wars for the cause of freedom, democracy, and their country?
Will all Britons, young and old, rich or poor, Stand Up, Speak Out and add your names to these petitions?
Frozen in Canada.A Story of Our British Country Folk.How you can help.
Many years ago
I stood near the bridge which separates
the USA from Canada and I admired the magnificence of the Niagara
Falls. No doubt today there are British pensioners living on both sides of that Bridge, but they would be
foolish indeed to live in Canada, because their State Retirement
pension would be frozen at the level at which they emigrated.
But, perhaps one such elderly couple is
there because their daughter had moved there years before. She and
her family have a large Canadian house and she feels more able
than her brother still living in Woking, England, to care for her
parents. Their son and his family in England,
have a small modern house scarcely 18 feet wide on a Wimpey estate
and with their own children to care for, there is not the space
for his parents. The parents are concerned for his welfare and
the education of their grandchildren and all the social welfare system of
So! What has this story to do with you? Two elements - firstly
the situation of the representation to Parliament of the elderly
couple who will have powerful links for the rest of their lives
with the social systems of Britain, and secondly the gross
unfairness of their frozen pensions just because they need to live
in Canada, rather than the USA, or stayed in Britain.
In both matters they are unfairly treated by the Government of
their homeland. After 15 years they have no representation in
England, although they remain deeply concerned about the welfare
of their son and his family, and they remain dependent for their
State pensions on Britain, and the husband's police pension and
its taxation, for he served in the police force in Guildford.
So in 2011 these grandparents are concerned - you bet! of course
So they add their names to two petitions. One on their frozen vote and the other on their frozen pension. If they had the vote they may influence the pension! http://votes-for-expat-brits.com. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16387
They are British Citizens. In spite
of all the knocks which their own British Government direct at
them, they remain proud to be British. They come from families of
humble origins*, but with guts and courage have survived the
vicissitudes of the past 80 years and their children have tried in
spirit to follow in their footsteps.
*their parents supported Labour!
Australia. I read of a retired engineer there aged
81, whose Old Age Pension is only £18 a week, because it is frozen.
Those expatriates who live in Australia have signed in their
hundreds both of the petitions. This week the number of British
Pensioners outside the EU (particularly in Australia) who have
signed the petition on the frozen vote exceeds those pensioners in
Europe who have signed the same petition.
So what does all this mean to you? In the cause of British
solidarity, just as the Australians (one hopes that the Canadians will follow suit) have voted to thaw
both the frozen vote and the frozen pensions, so all Britons
everywhere should support both causes. Please sign up on both petitions. And copy this on to other
British pensioners, expatriates and indeed those remaining in our
homeland. Other Information. You may wish
to write to a British MP - You can find a list and thus their
email addresses via the following link http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
It is believed that the LibDems are against extending
the 15 year vote, but are for unfreezing pensions.
They are a major influence in the Coalition Government.
The Conservatives seem to be for unfreezing the vote but possibly
against unfreezing the pensions. There is no indication of Labour
leanings, but they can surely be influenced? Leaders are -
LibDems - Nick Clegg; Labour - Ed Miliband; Conservatives - David
It is all to
do with whether EU nationals can immigrate into the UK
and immediately claim social benefits at the expense of the UK. Well they can’t. EU
nationals have to be an ‘habitual
resident’ to claim any benefits – What
is an ‘habitual resident’ is the deciding point! Essentially it is one who has contributed to
the British Society.
Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) said: "The EU settlement is
supposed to protect the right of member states to make their own social
security arrangements. But we are now seeing a rising tide of judgements from
the European institutions using other legal avenues to erode away these rights,
and we should be gravely concerned."
>>>* … IDS
added: "As if this week's decision was not bad
enough, we are also fighting increasing demands for the UK to pay benefits
to those who have long since moved abroad, and who may never have made more
than a token contribution to UK society."
There is a sad suppurating syndrome exposed in these misleading words,
rampant in Britain.
It generates antipathy to those who have
emigrated. I would wish IDS
to meet some of our British expatriate friends. All retired to France
to explore new horizons. They are all
dependent on the UK Social Security system for their State Pensions. France
asks the UK to
pay for their health care. They are
neither scroungers on France
nor the UK. But being long term contributors to the British
Social Security system they deserve the support and recognition of THEIR Government, which is the British Government. If they
deserve certain benefits as they grow older then they also should receive them now they live in Europe.
There is the chap who was grievously wounded at the age of ten, but
with extraordinary courage developed a career in the construction trade.
There is the
ex-officer of the army who served
throughout the world.
There is the fireman who had a career in service in the UK.
There is the schoolteacher who came to live near her
daughter after retirement. She has an extremely small income. Now she is in
her 80’s and because she emigrated before 1998 she does not receive the £300
Winter Fuel Payment (WFP)
There is the woman with a career as a district nurse in Norfolk.
There is the career policeman. He, because he came
before obtaining the WFP in England also looses out on the WFP.
IDS! I ask of you .. Do
these people, stalwarts of England,
who promulgate the British culture in Europe not deserve
the support of the British Government?
The antipathy in Britain
towards those who have emigrated to Europe is a festering fungus which eats at the
sensibilities of the resident British public.
Politicians who in any way nurture this fungus should be ashamed. Forgive them- Do they
know what they are doing?