Thursday, 4 July 2013

Does George Osborne know how angry, people are?

I would guess he doesn't, and I do not suppose he cares that much. Expatriate Britons, do not have a vote because they are disenfranchised after living elsewhere in the EU for 15 years or more.
Many of these expats are retired government workers who are obliged to pay their taxes to the UK. They have no right to elect to pay their taxes to the country where they live, despite there being more favourable tax rates in many other of the EU countries.
It is because of this disenfrachment that the government are able to do what they will to Brits living abroad.
For many years there was a two tier system operating amongst British pensioners in Europe. Those moving to Europe after the introduction of the winter fuel payment were able to continue receiving the payment whilst those who had moved to Europe prior to the payment were not eligible.
Last year the European Commission ruled, that was wrong, and insisted that Britain pay up, which they reluctantly did last year. Now the talk is, that there is going to be a temperature control on who receives the WFP in future years.
How does the government get away with an anomaly like that? It is simple, if you have no representation the expat pensioner’s voice will be ignored. An excellent video that explains that in a humorous way is found at:;

The winter fuel payment is defined within EU Law as an old-age benefit.  Such benefits have to be administered without discrimination across the European Union/EEA.

Mr. Osborne says ' ‘EU law now says’'.  Not true.  EU law has said it all along!  It is just that that the situation has been forced on the Government through a judgement in the European Court of Justice.
To avoid paying the WFP to every State pensioner, the Government is trying to impose a temperature gauge.  They are attempting to show that pensioners who are resident in countries (please note!) which are claimed to be warmer in the winter months than the region of the SW of England in the same months shall not receive it.
There is an error of logic here -  The statistics are apparently, going to be averaged over full country and compared this English district.  So though a pensioner may live in the Auvergne or the Rhône-Alps, or the Alsace districts of France, or the Sierra Nevada in Spain, all places that in winter are certainly less mild, and even severe compared to  the Scilly Isles or Cornwall, they will be discriminated against.
So, surely it should follow that if you live in a region comparable in administrative size with the SW of England, then if this temperature threshold is adopted, then that threshold should apply to that of  the administrative region where you reside?  So using Francethe comparison should be with administrative regions like Alsace (to the east of France which includes Strasbourg!).  
If a threshold is so defined, then if in your location you can demonstrate that your temperatures do not reach that threshold, and are refused the WFP then you would rightfully have a case against the UK Government.  The benefit cannot depend on just where you live. That is discrimination!  
I doubt if this temperature threshold concept would pass the scrutiny of EU law.

The answer would be to incorporate the WFP into the State Pension and thus make it taxable.  In that way the better, off whether they live in the Scilly Isles or Scarborough, will lose some in tax.

The PEN (the WORD) is MIGHTIER than the SWORD  - Wield it!
The VOTE is the most valuable weapon of all. It sharpens the force of your words.   Democracy depends on it.
Demand the VOTE and for heaven’s sake USE it – but of course most of us have no vote and far too many others lamely say ‘why should I vote?’ Here then, most clearly is a reason why.  Without Democracy you will be trodden on. Without the Vote in the background, your sword has no edge, and is but a toy.
If Britain pulls from the EU you will undoubtedly lose the WFP anyway!  And other benefits of belonging to this great enterprise.
Politicians fear the weapon of the vote.  It is more like a cupid’s arrow. It gives power to those whom you respect.

You need the Vote.  You can give your opinion on that subject by contacting the parliamentary committee on overseas representation, by e mailing

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