Having been involved for many years in trying to change the legislation which perpetuates this long standing injustice, I read with interest Barry Kenyon’s article dated the 25th July 2023. I wish to make the following comments.
The first paragraph of the article quotes Sir Roger Gale MP as saying the stumbling block to a solution is the fear of the UK Treasury that it could be faced with a flood of catching-up claims. Sir Roger has been Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group of Frozen British Pensions for many years and will be aware that the pensioners organisations have always said that once pension parity has been achieved, and all pensioners receive the full entitlement of their State Pension, irrespective of where they have chosen to live, then the campaign will end and they have no intention of pursuing the Government for back pensions not paid.
What does Sir Roger suggest is done in order to allay the fears of the treasury that the pensioners will do otherwise than what they say.
In the second paragraph reference is made to ‘mutually-assured’ agreements, a term I do not recognise.
In the past Government Ministers have referred to ‘reciprocal’ agreements but the purpose of these agreements is to protect the social security rights of workers moving between two countries and have nothing to do with pensions, with which the Department for Work and Pensions agree.
The reason given now by the Government for continuance of freezing the state pension in certain countries is that this policy has been supported by successive governments over the past 70 years and there are no plans to change it.
There will be a general election in the UK next year and it is doubtful if the main political parties will change their policy on pensions. The new party ‘Reform UK’ are still working on their proposals for pensions which they will release in due course. Their plans are awaited with interest.
27th July 2023