December 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm #158563
Just as I’m coming up to being qualified to claim it, it stops!!!!!
So all those years of avoiding paying tax and avoiding my NI etc has amounted to nothing? :angry:
Just as I approach my twilight years and look forwards to enjoying the fruit of my labours, old baby head Smith steps in! Disgusting! 😥
December 31, 2014 at 5:43 pm #193865
So as we sit here in Poliani in 18 inches of fresh snow and -6 degrees C we REALLY don;t need a winter fuel payment then !!!!! 👿
Temperature in England is 12 degrees and if we were there we’d get the payment.
That’s almost Greek logic !! 😕
By the way KP – welcome back to GIH.
Love to you Mrs KP and all the KP ites in Blighty x x
December 31, 2014 at 8:54 pm #193866
Yes, in the UK, they don’t seem to grasp the fact that in winter it can be colder in Greece than the UK, as right now!
Unfortunatly, the government just needed to throw the perception of a few crumbs at the peasants with the elections coming up, so we’ve all been offered as sacrificial lambs to appease the peasants and gain a few votes! :angry:
This rather than losing the white trash and asian votes by clamping down benefit cheaters and illegals, or even, God forbid, stopping the nearly 12 billion per annum in wasted overseas aid, which is the equivalent of some £1,250 per annum extra in pension for every single UK registered pensioner!
January 5, 2015 at 7:54 am #193867
This is a shabby & miserly attempt by the government to “get back” at the EU after they were forced to let people who turned 60 after leaving the UK have the benefit. I have a strong suspicion that the “average” temperature requirement was set to ensure that Spain (which has the highest number of UK expats) would fail, along with France & Greece, despite the fact that it can be very cold indeed here in the winter. The WFA was originally conceived to help pensioners pay their (higher) winter bills, given that they, as a group, feel the cold more than younger people and therefore use more energy to heat their homes. The actual temperature was irrelevant. There is an additional “cold weather payment” for when temperatures get really low; I don’t object to being denied that, but to have the basic allowance removed when we’ve paid tax & NI for umpteen years is mean spirited – I’m just glad we have plenty of olive logs as we can’t afford to use our reversible aircon much, that’s for sure, and we don’t have CH.
January 13, 2015 at 9:48 am #193868
Now the goal posts have been shifted re who will qualify for higher pension payments.
January 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm #193869
“…always expect the unexpected” Goalposts are never set solidly into the ground 😕 .
I note Grocer has as usual found the ins and outs of what to do and gives good advice as to how ex-pats might make an impact. I have not contributed to this discussion but will do so now, possibly at risk of annoying some but I hope I put forward a balanced – but possibly limited – view as one who can see several sides to the discussion.
I feel payments of state pension and cost of living increases should be paid to all who contributed irrespective of where one happens to reside thus giving one to those in lands not subject to an increase. The level of it and tax, if payable, should be at source. This not the tax payable in the country of residence nor the level of pension paid into that country. (stay with me here….)
Other benefits (and drawbacks) should be as the country of residence where chosen. Welfare benefits, health care, costs (and therefore safety nets) etc. (and assuming this is for E.U – Greece say) should be as enjoyed by the countries residents. Winter fuel payments are a state welfare benefit, not part of a pension, but for the purposes of qualification linked to the female pension age e.g. I qualify for it but not state pension. Further I believe benefits should be paid where there is a need and not an automatic right but on a sliding scale in general. I know elderly people, for example, who get no benefit but those theoretically financially worse off end up through a plethora of benefits better off.
Having said that the stopping of ex-pacts WFP, to me seems a blatant vote catcher for a few ( e.g. DM readers ic_wink ) and will not save a lot. There must be bigger savings to be made (and I do believe we in the UK and EU need to make them) so they should be tackled with greater priority; nevertheless look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves – possibly.
So based on need, many think ex-pacts would not have the need and also a lot more UK residents most definitely would have no need of the WFP, so fairer all round. However the whole system needs improvement ( and someone will shout means test) so I doubt that will change much despite lots of political rhetoric.
What have been the arguments I have seen for and against, ignoring the needs element? This might be food for thought. I do not necessarily agree with the arguments expressed for or against.
I paid in for my pension and so I should get the WFP. Firstly I sympathise with that view but WFP is nothing to do with pension and really neither is National Insurance payments as current payers are paying not for their pensions but for current pensioners. It is paid to residents of the UK so the corollary of the ‘paid in argument’ is that Greeks living in the UK should not get it?
Ex-pats getting state pension but spending it elsewhere. Total nonsense! We all choose how to spend it and many lucky pensioners choose to spend it on drugs, ciggies, drink or holidays etc. True, some do not have that luxury.
If you move and lose benefits of UK – you also should move and should be treated exactly like a country’s own nationals within the EU (OK, not quite the same for Greece and several others in practice but certainly in principle), make your choice [ and don’t expect the goalposts not to move
: you do live in Greece, do you not? Factor that in when you make your free choice]
‘Hotter’ countries can be colder. True in specific instances of locations but by definition the mean temperatures are warmer than the UK and it is that, coupled with wind, rain and a lack of sun that make the climatic difference and that is what counts. You moved to a hotter country and chose a mountain top? Bad choice possibly. There are days when London is warmer than Athens (and the opposite is true) but it is not the norm. You feel the cold, well you are probably acclimatised or live somewhere with poor insulation. Buy some rock wool and line your house with it like many have to do in colder climates! (Note: my very well insulated home is routinely heated to 20° of an evening and 15 to 18° at other times and I need heating on for virtually 9 months of the year to maintain that. Can you say 4-5 months in Greece to maintain the same ( or hotter temperatures) is really relevant? I do not need cooling in summer worst luck! Now a new argument might be a cooling allowance?
Heating is essential in warmer countries. Quite true especially in the depths of winter but generally not to the same extent and not for as long as colder countries. Climate has a big affect but also standard of building. Costs do vary though and gas in the UK is a lot cheaper than electricity (not a lot of gas in Greece is there?] but electricity is relatively cheap in Greece – not so for oil. Should that be a factor?
Often low earners are paying for the benefits that are paid out when they are not paid on a needs basis. That is true irrespective of the country you inhabit, so whilst a concern is irrelevant to WFP country by country arguments.
Ex-pats are being treated as second class citizens unlike French ex-pats. True there is no representation in UK parliament(s) but you do live abroad. Residents of the UK are represented once registered for a vote so ex-pats are not really second class; if you live in the UK you will get a vote. Want the French system, become a citizen.
Now some may be upset by this post on the thread but that is not my intention but to provoke thoughts. I well know not all ex-pacts are rich or have it easy – or as easy as it once was – but equally some are. That is a good argument for a needs responsive system surely? Yes there are locations in most countries that are colder than the South of England, I passed plenty of snow poles this year on my holidays and it is also not generally known in the UK how many ski resorts there are Greece, but then how many ex-pats chose to live in those areas?
Altohb is certainly correct when writing that the initial concept was to help the elderly pay for the extra heating need owing to greater levels of infirmity and feeling the cold more (I certainly do!) but is that a valid argument to pay WFP to people who have moved to be in a warmer country as many ex-pats have done (and I realise that is not the only reason for moving ….. but you left Nigel Farage behind! :)) )
January 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm #193870
Wow, that is a real in depth analysis Kolo !
Quite true though, good stuff !
January 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm #193871
Kolo…. I thought that you Scots were renowned as being people of few words! 😕
I did try to read it through but felt myself glazing over and giving up the will to live around quarter of the way through! 😯
Perhaps you could give me the shortened Scottish summary in one paragraph? 8)
January 14, 2015 at 10:02 pm #193872
Spend your money in Scotland and not elsewhere. :finger:
January 15, 2015 at 10:20 am #193873
Spend your money in Scotland and not elsewhere. :finger:
I would do if the sun shone a bit more over there!
Alien, I’m not sure if you know, but I’m an honoury Scot anyway!
I’m married to a Scot from Edinburgh and our daughter has married a Scot from up Inverness way, then both my grandsons were born in Scotland – one in Edinburgh & one in Inverness – just to keep the equilibrium!
All I’ll need now if for my grandsons to marry Greek girls in the future! 😀
January 15, 2015 at 11:05 am #193874
give me the shortened Scottish summary in one paragraph?
Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.
Short enough,KP? 😉
January 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm #193875
January 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm #193876
Mmmm, sort of you’ll get what’s coming to you, or your just deserts…….maybe galaktabureko ic_smile
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