Thursday, 19 September 2013

A deeply flawed and duplicitous policy.

The British Government has proposed to remove from British pensioners in certain European countries the right to Winter Fuel Payments on the grounds that the country in which they live is "warmer" than Britain in winter months.
The Department of Work and Pensions commissioned a study which it has now admitted calculated average winter temperatures for France and Spain which included in their calculations overseas tropical and semi tropical departments.
It has been confirmed, that the Meterorological Office used, the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta & Melilla for the figures for Spain, and
The Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Indian Ocean islands of RĂ©union and Mayotte and French Guiana in South America were added to average temperatures for mainland France.

The whole policy is deeply flawed and duplicitous. It ignores the fact that many parts of France and Spain, are much colder IN THE WINTER than the relatively temperate British climate, as a result of basking in the warmth of the Gulf Stream.

Ministers and their acolytes think that all British expats enjoy millionaire life styles and ignore the fact that many retired Brits live in Europe because they are able to live a little cheaper than in those parts of Britain where they used to live. In addition many British retired expats "enjoy" minimal pensions and live in quite strapped circumstances, this being true of many pensioners who will not enjoy the well protected and generous parliamentary and public pensions of Iain Duncan Smith, the Minister responsible for this decision.

British expats form an exceedingly loyal group, in many cases having served their country and their communities, and love and support their country of birth, but are being picked on knowing that they are denied the vote, to be able to protest this policy.

This is an ill considered, shabby and unfair proposal. To put the matter into perspective the DWP has itself recently wasted the entire cost of the saving that would be made in one year on a useless computer system.

If you are an expat or you know expats who may be affected I urge you to support the petition which may be accessed by the link below.

A petition also exists calling for a dedicated MP for British expats at: MPs petition 
This is the best way for our voices to be heard. 

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