Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Political Immorality Yet Again

My scepticism about UK governments and politicians took another boost today, as if it needed it, when I heard how they are defrauding UK pensioners abroad, even world war two veterans. If you pay into something you should receive the benefits, wherever you happen to be at the time. However if you move to certain countries your pension may be frozen, no matter how much National Insurance you paid, over whatever period.

It doesn't apply to EC countries, so vote to stay in and wierdly it doesn't apply to the USA, but it does apply to Canada, Australia and many, many other countries. One former RAF flight sergeant who served in Burma and who is now 90 receives just £48 per week, if he were in the USA or England he would receive £119-30 a week. Don't marry a Canadian! He's £3,700 a year out of pocket and now he and his second wife both need medical care. The UK government should be utterly ashamed.

The most extreme case could be that of a lady who died this February at age £104, her pension was frozen at just £6-12 per week, enough by the time she died to buy about three loaves of bread! If you move to one of the unlucky countries your pension will be frozen at the level it was at when you retired, or when you moved abroad. There are more than one hundred of these seemingly random countries including English speaking Commonwealth nations like New Zealand.

Ethically speaking the frozen pensions policy is both morally bankrupt and reprehensible, but if the referendum vote goes the way of leave the trickle of returning ex pats could become a flood and that would cost the treasury dear. In addition returning retirees will likely need the health service more than the young and fit. Aside from voting to remain, the real answer is simple, give people who've paid into the system their due. It's the right thing to do OBVIOUSLY and for once you damn politicians the right thing might even be expedient too!

Malcolm Snook

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