This is not a begging letter. I do not want your money but I would like your vote.
You may not be aware of the present anomaly that exists affecting the State Pension paid to certain UK citizens living abroad. Let me explain.
Pensioners living in the UK, an EU Country or certain favoured countries such as USA, Israel and the Philippines, get the state pension up rated each year with cost of living increases.
In the remaining countries, which include the Commonwealth Countries of Australia, Canada and South Africa, as well as many other countries such as Thailand where I live, this cost of living increase IS NOT PAID. Pensioners living in these countries have their pension ‘frozen’ at the amount they were receiving from the day they ceased UK residence, or the day they start receiving pension if they already live abroad.
There are in excess of 500,000 pensioners affected by this totally unjust law. These pensioners made the same contributions as those living in the UK who get the increases.
The International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) is the organisation representing UK Pensioners living abroad and they have been very active in trying to get the Government to change the legislation so that all pensioners are treated equally. The various reasons given for not paying increases to all pensioners have all been answered by the ICBP so the Government is now reduced to merely stating that it has no plans to change the existing legislation.
Recent research has shown that the benefit to the UK economy from pensioners emigrating is on average 2,500 pounds per annum (7,000 pounds in NHS savings, plus unpaid benefits, less loss of VAT, Council Tax etc). The UK economy would gain if those wishing to emigrate were encouraged to do so.
A new E petition on the frozen pension issue sponsored by the ICBP has now been posted on the Government web site. The aim is to obtain more than 100,000 signatures so this matter can be considered for debate in the House of Commons. Your cooperation is essential if this target is to achieved so can I please ask you to take the time to sign the petition. The following notes will help you through the process.
1. Click on the following link which will take you directly to the petition.
2. Click on the ‘sign this petition’ button to take you to the signing page.
3. Complete all the details requested on the signing page. Make sure your E mail address is accurate as you will be sent a confirmation E mail as part of the process – more on this below.
4. Where you are asked ‘British citizen or UK resident’ the answer should be ‘yes’. You are being asked whether you are one or the other or perhaps both. Only answer ‘no’ if you are neither one nor the other.
5. In the ‘country’ box ‘United Kingdom’ is the default country. If not applicable select the country from the drop down menu.
6. At the bottom of the page you will find a ‘Captcha box’ where you have to read two words and type them in a box. One word may be difficult to read, but if you get it wrong first time do not worry it will provide two more words to try again.
7. Having completed all the above click the next box ‘I agree to the Terms and Conditions’, then click on the box ‘Sign this E petition’.
8. You will receive a confirmation E mail, usually within minutes, unless the system is very busy when it could take longer. Click on the link provided in that E mail and your signature will be registered.
9. One final note. Additional votes will not be accepted from the same E mail address. If you are a couple that share one E mail address both names can be entered in the name box but it will only register one vote.
Finally if you decide to support this important E petition, my sincere thanks. Please feel free to pass this on to all your friends and relatives who you think might agree to vote. Over half a million pensioners around the world whose pension is currently frozen will be eternally grateful for your support.
Peterwyborn AT hotmail.com