Early Day Motion (EDM)
Tabled June 2011
Open letter from Chairman of the ICBP
Since the UK General Election last May, our advocacy campaign in the UK has moved along by leaps and bounds. One of the pivotal milestones we were seeking was the tabling of an Early Day Motion (EDM) on the pension freezing topic sponsored by the three major political parties, Conservative, Lib-Dem and Labour. We achieved that milestone on 9 June 2011 when EDM 1895 was tabled: the sponsors were Penny Mordaunt, Conservative; David Ward, Lib-Dem; and Anne Begg, Labour.
The EDM wording below, can also be viewed at the Parliamentary link :
“That this house notes that under regulation 3 in the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulation 2011 more than half a million British people who have retired to any one of more than 120 countries including the majority of Commonwealth countries have their rightful British State pension frozen and are denied their rights to annual up-rating to such pension, meaning that they continue to lose money that they are entitled to having paid National Insurance contributions during their working lives; further notes that perpetuation of this regulation will impact on the freedom of choice of country of residence for many constituents upon their retirement in coming years and calls upon this House to review regulation 3 of the Up-rating Regulation and thus treat all British pensioners with the dignity and fairness that they deserve in future years.”
We ask you to please write to your MP and ask them to support this EDM. If you live overseas then contact the MP at the last constituency that you resided in before leaving the UK. If you are a UK resident then please contact your current MP.
Click-on this link as it may be useful in finding your MP and Constituency
Finally, my sincere thanks to all of you on behalf of the more than 540,000 frozen pensioners around the world.
What is an Early Day Motion?
This is a private member’s motion which may be tabled by an individual UK MP to express an opinion or call upon the Government to take action. Such a motion is tabled in the Members’ lobby of the House of Commons. It is allocated a number and a date of tabling. It remains active for that particular session of Parliament, which usually lasts about a year and ends in October/November.
During the period it is active, the author(s) or other interested parties outside Parliament may encourage other MP’s to display their support for the motion by signing the EDM.
The progress of an EDM (number of signatures/who/party affiliation) may be followed by clicking the link below each EDM statement in any of the following letters of appeal from the chairman.
Only MP’s without party or government positions are eligible to sign EDM’s. For a number of years, before he gave up his seat, Winston S. Churchill (MP) annually tabled an EDM in support of ending pension freezing. He succeeded in getting a little more than half the eligible MP’s (275-300 – very respectable figures) to sign his EDM’s on our behalf.
EDM’s are important in that they provide a forum for individual backbench MP’s to make a statement to the Government on any given subject. However, they have no force in parliamentary procedure. i.e. They will not force the Government to debate or change policies. They do, however, provide an additional political pressure point opportunity for MP’s and campaigners to use.
If you have friends or relatives in the UK that you feel would also be prepared to support our cause by writing to their MP, then you are encouraged to forward them a copy of the EDM notices.
What Should Alliance Members do to Help?
We will be asking you to support a number of EDM’s as they are tabled in the House of Commons. The most recent appears above. If an EDM is OPEN for support, you are asked to write to your MP on that topic and encourage him or her to sign that EDM.
PLEASE GET THE INFORMATION AND WRITE!
WE NEED YOU TO HELP US GET TO 200 MP SIGNATURES!
The 1, 2, 3 procedure for following Tony’s request:
- Read the EDM statement that will be put before the MP’s.
- Write a letter to the MP of your old constituency. The EDM statement provides some prime words to choose from, but use depending upon your circumstances. Take care to include the points mentioned.
- Find your MP, name, address and constituency by using this link and complete your letter or email and send as soon as possible.
Previous Examples & Instructions
Chairman’s Letter to Members – EDM 1263
Dear CABP Member :
The EDM season is upon us again and I am asking for your support lobbying UK MPs to sign EDM 1263. John Markham, our Director of UK Parliamentary Affairs, has worked very closely with a number of MPs on this and EDM 1263 was tabled as a result. The actual wording is provided in Section 1 below.
EDMs are a powerful vehicle for scoring impact in both the public and political consciousness – media interest in them is well known to MPs and this heightened awareness keeps up pressure on the government to take action. We now need your help to jolt the MPs into signing this EDM in order to achieve maximum effect before John Markham speaks at the Labour and Tory Party Conferences in September.
Regardless of the response you may have received from your MP about previous EDMs – negative, positive, or “I can’t sign because of my status” – please do contact him/her about EDM 1263, if you have not already done so. By doing so, you are keeping our issue boiling on the front burner where it belongs. You can find and get in touch with your MP quite easily by following the instructions in Section 3 below or by visiting www.BritishPensions.com.
MPs advise us that it is better to mail a letter to them rather than make your request for support by email. The action of physically opening an envelope and then extracting and reading the contents means that you don’t have to hope that you get by those human and electronic filters encountered by email communications.
Most importantly, be polite. Remember, we are asking these MPs to take up the fight on our behalf. Many of them are still only vaguely familiar with our situation but they are listening and most of them want to help.
We are always pleased to see copies of the replies that you get. It helps us to keep track of the supporters and often gives John Markham an opportunity to follow-up on your exchange of correspondence.
My sincere thanks for your participation in this project and for your continued support.
Section 1 – EDM: 1263 Pension Parity
“That this House is dismayed that the Government has not ceased the practice of maintaining a discriminatory differential in UK state pensions, dependent on the country in which the recipient resides; acknowledges that the Government has stated that there is no legal reason to do so; and calls upon the Government to cease the practice of freezing some overseas pensions and to provide the 525,000 affected recipients resident abroad with pension parity.”
Section 2 - Sample Letter to Support EDM 1263
1. I am a pensioner living in ………. where I receive a UK State Retirement Pension of £xx per week which has been frozen at this amount since (year) … or for xx years.
The first words above can be suitably modified to reflect your circumstances, such as:
‘I am a widow’ .. or .. ‘My wife and I’ .. or .. ‘Some other alternative introduction’
OR .. If you are not yet a pensioner but know that you have enough years of NI contributions to qualify for a partial or full pension, you could say, ‘I am a future overseas pensioner living in ………. whose pension will be frozen when I eventually reach pensionable age.
2. Prior to leaving the UK, I was resident in your constituency from …… to …….and at that time I worked for ….
(or .. ‘my family are living in your constituency’ .. or .. ’and I have members of my family still living in your constituency’ .. or ..members of my family have lived in your constituency for x years .. etc).
OR – If it is less than 15 years since you emigrated from the UK you can say something along these lines, ‘I left the UK x years ago and am therefore eligible to vote in the next general election when I shall be sure to register my disappointment by voting for a party that I believe will right this wrong.’
3. I have made my mandatory contributions to the State Pension scheme during my lifetime. I therefore find it extremely unjust that the British Government has seen fit to freeze my pension because I live in ….., whilst some 50% of pensioners living outside the UK have their pensions uprated in line with those pensioners resident in the UK
4. I would ask you to assist in bringing an end to this injustice by signing EDM 1263. If you have already signed the EDM then please accept my sincere thanks for supporting the call for pension parity for all pensioners, wherever they might live in the world.
Section 3 - How to Find the Name of Your MP
For those with a computer and access to the internet
1. Using your internet browser, go to: http://www.politics.guardian.co.uk/ (Guardian Unlimited)
2. Down the left hand side, type into the box under “Find an MP”
a) The name of your old constituency in the UK, e.g. Mole Valley
OR – if you’re not sure
b) Enter the name of the town or county you lived in (e.g. Leatherhead). Or the postcode of, even the first four characters (e.g. KT22)
OR – if that does not provide what you’re looking for
c) Use the inter-active map at the blue link under the dialog box.
When you have identified your MP write to him or her at the following address, which is the recommended way to write to MPs
Joe or Jane Doe, MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
If the MP has a title other than Mr, Mrs or Ms, like “Rt Hon” or “Sir” or “Dr”, then include it, as it may make the difference to whether the MP gets to read it or not. Sending your letter to the House of Commons means you do not have to research the constituency office address, it does not encounter the constituency office road blocks and it gets there quicker.
It is strongly recommended that you send your letter by snail-mail for the reasons noted in the Chairman’s letter above.
For Those Without a Computer and Access to the Internet
Talk to your children or grand-children and provide them the information above. If you do not have instant access to them, then take this sheet with the above instructions to your public library or some other public information body and they will be able to help. As a last resort, call the CABP National Office and the volunteers will try to help you.