Anyone with access to the internet can contribute to the correspondence columns of on-line newspapers. In addition, one could contribute to discussion groups on various like-minded associations, or even simply e-mail friends and relatives in the UK to remind them that the POLITICAL ADVOCACY campaign is ongoing and that we need their help in “spreading the word”….
The following guidelines are intended as the basis for a personal letter from you, to Her Majesty the Queen, on the occasion of Her Diamond Jubilee.
This is an initiative of The International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP), as a follow-up to the letter sent by the Chairman of the ICBP, which is also shown below these guidelines:
“Your Majesty I am writing to you on the occasion of your Diamond Jubilee to draw your attention to the plight of 548,000 UK expat pensioners around the world, who have their Basic State Pension frozen for no better reason than where they reside, the majority of these countries being Commonwealth countries. Many of these pensioners fought in the last war on behalf of your father King George VI and the Country. Many of these individuals now only receive some 25% of the current UK pension and are living in conditions of poverty. The Country seems to have forgotten the debt that is owed to these veterans. May I petition your Majesty to ask your Government to provide Pension Parity to all on the occasion of your Diamond Jubilee as a mark of respect for their contribution to the Country in the past.”
Letters to the Queen need to be addressed:
Her Majesty The Queen, Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA ENGLAND
Note that the Queen does not have an email address, and whatever you write can also be copied later to the present MP in your old constituency in the UK.
This letter to the Queen was dated, 23 March 2012:
As Chairman of the International Consortium of British Pensioners may I offer you our loyal and heartiest greetings on the occasion of Your Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.
As I am sure you are aware many of your loyal subjects who reside abroad have their Basic State Pension frozen by Your Majesty’s Government. Many of these individuals, now over the age of 85 years, fought for Crown and country when your father was on the throne so that today’s citizens could enjoy the freedom that they now do. Many of the pensioners affected are Commonwealth citizens who came to the United Kingdom’s aid in its time of need. You will doubtless recall that in December 2010 we provided you a bound copy of our book, “Broken Faith”, which records the history of 107 such pensioners who fought for their country both during and after the Second World War.
Your Majesty, whilst not all of the more than half a million pensioners affected are service veterans, they are all people who contributed to the life and health of Great Britain during their working years, just like the other half million plus living overseas whose pensions are not frozen. Now, in their old age, they find that they are abandoned solely because of where they have decided to live in their retirement years. You may be surprised to learn that more than ninety five percent of those whose pensions are frozen live in Commonwealth countries. Surely you would agree that such a disparate policy hardly fits into Great Britain’s reputation for equality and fairness for all, a policy which is so often trumpeted by Your Majesty’s Government. Nor does it meet the intent of the the CHOGM declarations of Singapore 1971 and Harare 1991which called for all Commonwealth nations to, “… use all our efforts to foster equality and dignity everywhere”.
On behalf of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, we pray that during this year of great celebration of Your Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, you will request your Government to provide pension parity for all British Pensioners living overseas in their retirement years, regardless of where they have chosen to live.
I have the honour to be, Madam,
Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant.
Chairman, International Consortium of British Pensioners
For the upcoming Commonwealth Day on 12thMarch 2012, suggested letter or email to:
Senator Hugh D. Segal Special Envoy for Commonwealth Renewal
Senate of Canada
Dear Senator Segal
British Government discrimination against some Commonwealth Citizens
I write to you in advance of the upcoming Commonwealth Day on 12th March, a day in which we recognise the importance of the Commonwealth and the principles of the Singapore Declaration of “equality and dignity everywhere”.
Yet at this time over half a million Commonwealth citizens are treated by the British Government significantly less favorably than their counterparts living in non-Commonwealth countries.
In this, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, I would ask you to use your position as Special Envoy for Commonwealth Renewal to urge your counterparts in the UK to bring an end to the discrimination felt by over 500,000 frozen British State pensioners. These pensioners, because of where they have chosen to live in retirement, have their British State pension frozen at the rate it was when first received. Another half million British pensioners living outside the UK have their British pensions indexed every year, just as if they lived in the UK.
It is particularly galling for us in Canada that across the border in the USA, a country without the ties we have to the British crown, British state pensions are indexed annually. In Canada there are almost 160,000 people affected by this cruel policy which affects people more severely the more elderly and vulnerable they become.
The cost to the British Government of righting this historical and illogical policy is just 0.7% of the annual pension budget.
EDM 1895 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.
Tony Bockman Chairman, ICBP
Each Year, A Birthday Card to Her Majesty The Queen
The time has come to ask for your help again. April 21st is HM the Queen’s birthday, not her official birthday, her real one. We think this provides an ideal opportunity to make Her Majesty aware of our frozen pensions plight again. We’d like all of you to go out and buy her a birthday card, a real one, not send an electronic one. Then we’d like you to hand write a message (see below) into that card. So make sure you buy one that has a plain sheet inside it and is physically big enough for you to write the message. Once you have it ready mail it to:
Her Majesty The Queen,
Buckingham Palace, London,
Here is the message to write inside the card:
Happy Birthday Your Majesty. From a UK Basic State Pensioner living in Canada whose pension is frozen at the *insert year* rate. Over half a million pensioners, living mostly in Commonwealth countries, are victims of your Government’s pension freezing policy while another half million, living in countries like the USA and the Philippines, have their pensions uprated annually.
Then sign and mail your card. If you send this from a couple, feel free to change the singulars to plurals in the first sentence e.g., From two British State Pensioners living in Canada whose pensions are frozen at the *insert year* rate.
- Many thanks!
- Tony Bockman,
- Chairman, ICBP