fairness, justice and equality for all British state pensioners
All people contribute towards the National Insurance scheme under exactly the same rules.
All people qualify for their state pension under exactly the same rules, based on years of NI contributions.
When it comes time to pay the state pension different rules are applied depending on where you happen to live.
If you live in the UK and in 40 overseas countries, your state pension is uprated for inflation each year.
If you live in mainly Commonwealth countries your state pension is frozen at the rate at which it is first paid, or as at the date of migration. This means that over time the real purchasing power of the state pension in Commonwealth countries declines over the years, so that after, say, 25 years, it may be about a quarter of the current pension level.
To rectify this problem it would cost less than 1% of the total state pension bill.
Apparently there is an unwritten cross political party agreement not to fix this problem.
Pensioners who have chosen to go overseas to be with their children and grand children in retirement in Commonwealth countries are penalised for doing so, or disouraged from seeing their children and grand children again.
Overseas pensioners have been fighting this discrimination, based on country of residence, for over 25 years.
They could really do with a hand from people living in the UK to help them, to lobby on their behalf and to try to over turn this unfair, injust and inequal practice, which is based on historical accident and which even government ministers have admitted, has no logic to it.
Welcome aboard James. There is another letter in that paper. http://www.witneygazette.co.uk/forum/letters/9746303.Celebrating_Fairtrade/
I have been commenting on here for two years and figure that David Cameron's staff will surely read it as well as the constituents of Witney where my eldest daughter lives. They may just ask him about it and wish to know if it is triue. Needless to say my daughter has written and received the usual rubbish answer.
Incidentally, I wondered if your journalist friend had considered writing to MP's in other countries that are frozen like your neighbour NZ or SA.
I have also written under my real name George Morley as well as Freda Piles (just for argument).
Janeybird. Thanks for passing on the URL of the Witney newspaper. I have cimmented:
Frozen pensioners represent only a tiny fraction of the total number of people receiving a UK state pension. But over 98% of those whose pension is frozen live in old loyal Commonwealth countries. Britain used to encourage us to migrate to "Empire" countries, but now abandon us.”
I didn't mean members, I meant the people running this website - David Babbs and the like. Your campaign needs to approved by them no matter how many votes it gets. To give you an idea, the forest campaign got 229 votes before it was accepted and put onto the main 38 degrees site.
All this info sharing you're doing with each other is great but don't let your campaign get associated with the stigma of this undemocratic and biased site. Perhaps make your own site!
Peter, perhaps you could post your links that you get every day on here so we can all comment on them.......we will pass on ours.
Also how about the questions I have been asking? If Dickie Bird and Michael Parkinson are not involved just say so....but we do need a high profile spokesperson to grab the headlines on a regular basis. It worked for the Ghurkas.
Right I get it! Keep it simple so we all understand!.We discovered this fact a while ago...not sure why discrimination, theft and an injustice that has been ongoing for 60 years does not get the 38 degree members hopping about with indignation and a desire to help innocent previously hard working tax paying, and STILL tax paying, seniors being ripped off by millionaire ministers. Maybe the majority of 38 members are 20-30 somethings and pensioners being reduced to poverty by government policy is not sexy enough.
your campaign has 7867 votes but hasn't made it to the 38 degrees homepage because it hasn't been approved by the 38 degrees panel. You're trying to push an issue in a democratic way through a website that is undemocratic.
Sorry to be so stupid Anonymous but I do not understand what you are saying.
Here is the Witney Gazette link again without the "bit" on the end, takes you straight to the comments page.
Initially, I supported a couple of the 38 degrees campaigns having a good knowledge of the context and arguments. However, I started see campaigns that used sweeping statements and heavily journalist language. I wanted to support some of those campaigns but not through a lobbyist that lent itself to such stigma. I then began to question how exactly their campaigns came into being. I made several attempts to contact them about how this process worked but received no form of reply. Its funny how they spamblock all emails coming to them from their members but whip us up into a spam sending frenzy at our MPs. Through looking at articles about 38 degrees, it turns out the campaign ideas have to be approved by the 38 degrees panel. They have exploited this power, largely for their own agenda where they approved campaigns with multiple times less votes than campaigns they haven't approved.
The bottom line is if you have read around on a particular political issue and have good knowledge on it, you shouldn't need to use a template, from a website that has dictatorship over our campaign ideas, to write to your MP. We have no right to criticise MP's who use scripts and autocues, but lack core reasoning when we use 38 degrees of which mirrors that behaviour.
This link is from morgeo, it is one we often comment on. The Witney Gazette is David Camerons local paper in his constituency. We like to think his office staff at least read it and maybe even comment on our past postings. By the way I forgot to say I also use the name janeybird.
Peter Morris commented
I use Google Alerts for "frozen pension" but it has limited success for what I am interested in. I have far more success using the term "pension UK" which provides up to 6 relevant items each day.
Jane. Yes I have seen comments by Gorgiegirl bit not protempore. I would not have guessed that georgiegirl was you. I have seen comments by Morgeo and also by Andy. Mine is rainbowfarm, or it may be rainbowfarmau.
It could be a good idea if we posted on this forum any time we learned of an article on which comments can be made.
It is not always easy to find an angle that can be exploited to introduce the subject of frozen pensions, but it can usually be done. The main problem is that you have to get in early so that your comments will be seen by later contributors.
I am surprised by your statement that you never knew the amount of money collected nor what it was spent on. Don't they publish anything in their newsletter?
I get Google alerts on "frozen pension". Perhaps you could let us know what other material comes in from Google.
Jame's one of my concerns when I was a member of CABP was that I was never privy to the amount of money collected and what that money was being spent on. Any group that receives a fee from members should be furnishing those members with a statement of accounts at least once a year.
As for your statement at rarely seeing comments by posters to this forum all I can say is, yes we sometimes use a pseudonym, mine is georgiegirl and protempore and of course my own name, but just because you do not see something doen't mean it's not there maybe you are not seeing all of the articles? Most days we comment on at least one that comes in via Google Alerts. I could be petty and say that we do not see your comments on any of the many articles we comment on. But that would be immature...wouldn't it?
Morgeo. you are kidding yourself if you think that the efforts of POP or 38 degrees or any other group have had anything other than a minor influence on anything that has been achieved. You are not alone in trying to increase awareness of the problem. There are lots of dedicated people in and even out of the ICBP membership who are just as active as you are. And so far as the reaction from Diane Finley is concerned, I happen to know that the main push came from an Australian journalist, who contacts me frequently about developments in what she is doing.
I very rarely see any comment in online newspapers made by people who post to this forum. Or at least they do not identify themselves as such. Why not adopt a simple code, like 38, to end every comment you make in such newspapers. And publish on this forum the URL to enable us all to find these articles and add our voice.
Andy. If you or Jane (or anyone at all) come up with a really effective idea I am sure that nobody would ask for your membership details. Nobody would be so stupid.
What did you say in your message to ICBP? And who did you write to?
It is unworthy of you to make dark hints about how much ICBP spends on genuine efforts. What else would they spend it on?
Andy Robertson-Fox commented
I suppose, Peter, if an absolute sure fire means of effecting the thaw we all are seeking appeared on this forum you would first wish to know if the suggester was a "financial member". Of course if they were not or even like Jane and had resigned her membership you would feel morally bound to reject the proposal.
James you suggest writing direct to the ICBP....have you ever done so? I have and, after over two years, no one has ever bothered to reply but, as Peter tells us "they have no members as such" so perhaps I'm expecting too much. (Oh, but they did e-mail me to join the earlier forum and this one).
James you also ask what this group (presumably you mean 38 degrees) and POP actually achieved. As regards this group it has achieved one major success - it has brought together a small but dedicated action motivated group called POP. What has POP achieved - I think Morgeo has given you the come-uppance on that one!
But shall we turn the coin and ask what has ICBP achieved - and with all their financial backing and in god knows how many years?
After the, some say self inflicted, disaster of the ECHR ruling the ICBP, through John Markham I believe, said it was the end of the road for the legal fight and we must now rely on the Court of Public Opinion.
This surly has to be uppermost in the UK itself. While it is acknowledged that newspaper ads are both expensive and of short duration in the public eye - "tomorrows fish and chip wrapper" - never had bin liners in my youth - the suggestion of strategic billboards is not without merit..and you can implement this Peter because the idea came from a CABP member Chippy!. '
I wonder what percentage of the income generated from members is actually spent on genuine promotions of the cause?
Perhaps that stone is best left unturned!
So rather than get all uppity gentlemen please remember you are not being subjected to any sort of challenging take-over bid but you have a group of like minded individuals dedicated to ending this discrimination.
I think that as far as some of the more recent posters on this forum are concerned their frustration is twofold the freezing itself and the apparent complacency of the associations - for example 20,000 votes on the e-petition and how many members? Follow up letters?
Well James , you are reading it and so is Peter and so is Chippy and so is Andy and so is Jane and so am I along with others here. Why do we bother ? Well we are interested in any comments and they should also be looking everywhere for any other argument or ammunition to help resolve the freezing. This is why, although I am a member and also a provincial representative of CABP, I have endeavoured to maintain and increase the membership since joining but felt that more could be done on a personal basis and started commenting whenever an article appeared in the newspapers and have done so for many years now.
I also started writing to many MP's and as I am keeping a nominal roll of a EX-RAF members association I have asked them and their family and friends to write also and sign the epetition. I expect anyone and particularly those who volunteer to take an active role in an organisation to do as much as possible to acquaint themselves with the media and websites like this where the freezing policy is being discussed. If I can do it they can. I was approached to take up a position on the board but declined for personal reasons.
So I joined the POP group and we have achieved a lot thankyou.
I would suggest that we increased the profile of the frozen pensions in Canada by writing to as many MP's as we were able and to our surprise, the majority were unaware of the problem. I personally wrote to all of those in the Maritime provinces as well as the PM.
I met my own MP a well as my provincial MP and maybe our efforts sparked the recent article in the Telegraph from Diane Finley via these MP's. I am sure that our writing to UK MP's raised the support for EDM 1895 from in the 90's to over 100 as we wrote to every MP who had signed the previous EDM to stop the freezing if they had not yet signed that one. I am sure that the others will be happy to enlighten you about other successes . I feel that your last comment is unworthy of you and sounds a bit like sour grapes. I must emphasize that the POP group is not in competition with any other organisation and neither should we be. If you are not prepared to go the extra mile to resolve this situation then you may as well give up and just wait for others to do it for you. That is the problem with many of the members of all of the organisations I feel, who are happy to pay their membership and sit and wait. The cost of membership to our group is dedication and action and only those prepared to do that are members. If you could say that, we would all have our uprated pension by now. I'm not looking to fall out with you or anyone but let the truth be told.
Morgeo. What evidence do you have to support your suggestion that ICBP and its member organisations are reading the postings on this site? No doubt you think that they ought to do so. But why? Has this group, or the POP group actually achieved anything so far?
This group is like the tale referred to in one of Macbeth's speeches. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
I am not living overseas as yet but I may be forced to soon for economic reasons and I am responding to this suggested campaign as no one has respond to mine which I posted in February in the hope that it will also ring a few more bells?!!
The Great Pension Rip-Off
Being (unfortunately) of a pensionable age but forced due to lack of funds to continue working, I am asking for help to start a campaign to stop the Government from continually reducing each of our pensions by many thousands of pounds.
By injecting more money into the economy with Quantitative Easing, which is funded by the low interest rate Government Bonds, it means that our pension/annuity providers, who for security, have to invest on pensioners' behalves, in Government Bonds are continually receiving lower interest rates, thus resulting in lower pensions for pensioners.
So in a nutshell, we, the pensioners, are being forced by Government policy to pay for the Bankers' Casino Business Practices which have lost us all collectively Billions of pounds.
In the meantime they - the Bankers - continue to take their over inflated bonus payments! For what? Doing their jobs, even if not properly? The point of bonuses is to pay for excellence in performance, not to attract the so called 'right' or best people. How can they be the best if they have caused us to be in this state?
We need to force a parliamentary debate on the continuing Pensions Devaluation, with a view to redressing the balance, by cutting income tax for pensioners, and, at the very least, increasing the tax allowance threshold for all over 60's. Why should our age group, who have been the backbone of this country with many of us having to suffer the degradation, acute hardships and personal sacrifices of the Second World War and the very lean years after the war, have to now be burdened with such financial hardships? Is it that we are expendable for being such a drain on the country's finances or is it that we don't have sufficient voice?
Please help and we, as a very large group can show this Government that they need to take noticed.
I would have thought whatever it takes to get the job done. The attitude that ideas from non-members are resented is why you are no further forward. Throwing your toys out of the pram is counter-productive and immature. I agree the newspaper idea is expensive but the bill board idea is worth thinking about. You must be open to new ideas and to get in a snit and dismiss them, because they come from non "financial members" is doing your members, and by the way Morgeo and Chippy are paid up members, a great disservice. Are we not all after the same goal here?
Peter Morris commented
Well Morgeo, I guess I don't appreciate people who are not even financial members telling us how to spend our members' funds. I agree that we are all aiming for the same thing. Is it really cost effective to spend the subscriptions of thousands of members to place an advertisement in a uk national daily newspaper? I would have to be convinced.