Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Referendum Bill

October 13th 2015 the 2nd reading of the Bill was debated in the House of Lords.
Many members spoke about the lack of a democratic voice for those who have lived beyond the UK for more than 15 years.
Relevant extracts are included in this *** digest ***.
Read what Lord Shipley said
If we left the EU, work permits could return, more people could have to apply for skilled migrant visas, reciprocal health schemes could be reduced, the operation of UK state pensions could be affected and the general ease of mobility for UK citizens across the EU would become much more complicated and uncertain. I wonder whether the Government have calculated the impact if large numbers of UK citizens decided to return to the UK in the event of our exit from the EU.
 The full Hansard report is here

 The Liberal Democrat Party intend at the Committee stage to introduce an amendment to widen the franchise (the voting) to include at least ALL British Citizens in Europe.  This concept was supported by at least some members of all parties. Baroness Royall, who was in the last parliament leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords, approved.
Neil Kinnock (Lab) -at one time leader of the Labour Party- and Paddy Ashdown(LD) - similarly a previous leader of the LibDems- have said that they will vote for any such amendment.  Lord Lexden (Cons) has pushed for the life-time vote for years.
The Lib Dem announcement on this is here……………..

Those in countries beyond the EU who receive this item should grasp the thought that voting rights will add force to the claim for pension parity.  They may not get the vote in this amendment, but if they lobby for support for this amendment – it should hasten the Votes-for-Life Bill.
After that may well follow a true and full representation of the Citizens abroad.  But moreover you may want to live in France or Italy later on or may be your family will – Remember all British Citizens are also European Citizens.
What should be done now…. Lobby a likely Lord!
In the following link you will see lists of the members of the House of Lords. 
It can be difficult choosing which member or members to contact – By scanning down the list you can see names who you feel may be supportive e.g. Bakewell, Blunkett, Boothroyd etc.. and you can see also how active they have been as members.  Lobby those who have not spoken in the ***digest*** above.
In sending a mail please modify the following - This is important because the HoL clearing room for emails will not forward perceived identical mails - nor multiple addressed copies of mails.
So personalise it.
“Dear (enter the members name),
The Referendum Bill
Do please support the amendment which will be placed at Committee Stage to ensure that British Citizens abroad who have lost their right to vote and have a sincere interest in the outcome of the Referendum can have a voice in this Referendum.  I understand that leading members of all Parties intend to vote for it including members Kinnock, Ashdown, Lexden and others such as Royall, and many Liberal Democrats and also cross-bench Peers.
Extracts from  Hansard of the debate on October 13th can be read here
        Obviously you can invent your own letter or add material to this one.  And when you get a good response do please acknowledge.

FOR those (all British Citizens) who are also European Citizens – this should interest you….. 

To Register  to vote (if less than 15 years abroad) --

Friday, October 2, 2015

An Upgrade for British State Pensioners.

Important News for British State Pensioners.

Pensioners who were born before 6 April 1951 (6 April 1953 for women) now have a limited period in which to boost their entitlement to their current state pension.  They will be able to buy extra entitlements to their state pension of up to £1300 a year, for life. This will be achieved by making a lump sum payment in the form of voluntary class 3A NIC, between 12 October 2015 and 5 April 2017.

The exact amount that needs to be paid to receive each extra £1 per week of pension depends on the individual’s age at the time they make the payment. There is a table on page 5 of the state pension top-up factsheet, and an online calculator on to help with this calculation.

The ability to top-up the state pension may be particularly useful for women who have taken breaks from employment during their working lives, and for the self-employed with similarly patchy NIC records. Married couples will need to decide which person should make the top-up payment, as an income will be paid to a surviving spouse (or civil partner) of at least 50% of the topped-up amount.

Note the paragraph about customers (they mean pensioners) living overseas on page 3 of the factsheet.
State pension top-up factsheet

State pension top-up calculator for class 3A contributions

The first condition for the top-up is that the pensioner must already be in receipt of a UK state retirement pension.
  To register an interest:
email: or
tel: 0345 6004270

It will be important to register an interest as there will be no doubt an online system to make the payment that may require a person to prove identity. That might be more tricky for someone who lives outside of the
[Example - A male at the age of 83 could pay £11,350. IF he lives 15 years he would receive back a total of  £19,500 plus inflation increases on top. 
If his wife lives on, she would continue to receive at least 50% of the sum. The lump sum payable goes down as one ages and is also related to one's sex.]

Brian Cave

le Fourquet, Gourdon, 46300, France
-Votes for Britons  -