JOHN MARKHAM : LETTER TO EDITORS, 7 APRIL 2013
Does this Government have no moral values left? The announcement that they will be willing to pay council tenants £20,000 to emigrate on their retirement to be with their children or friends beggars belief. One can only suppose that the majority of these individuals are likely to want to emigrate to countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Caribbean. Nowhere does the Government point out that under current legislation UK pensioners emigrating to these countries plus many others, will have their Basic State Pension frozen at the level that they start drawing it in their new country of residence. Many of your readers may query how the Government can afford this ” bribe ” at a time when the UK economy is in such a parlous state. Make no mistake the Government wins; each and every emigrating pensioner saves the UK taxpayer up to £7000 per annum since they do not use the NHS, do not draw benefits and do not incur social costs. It does not take long for the Government to start achieving a healthy return on the GBP £20,000 invested! Put the other way round, if all the 565000 currently “frozen ” pensioners around the world were to return to the UK it would cost the UK economy, or rather the taxpayer, an estimated GBP 5.6 Billion per annum!! Cheaper all round to provide pension parity for all.
When is the Government going to do the honourable and just thing and put an end to the practice of freezing pensions. The vast majority of MPs consider the practice immoral, unfair and unjust. The present Prime Minister and his Lib Dem partner in crime supported the demand for Pension Parity when in Opposition as did the current Minister sitting in DWP. The fact that they have done nothing demonstrates their moral dishonesty as does the £20,000 “bribe”.
Director UK Parliamentary Affairs
International Consortium of British Pensioners