EDM 1235: APPG launches parliamentary challenge to the measure used to freeze overseas state pensions
March 10, 2016 Frozen Pensions 7 Comments
A Vice Chair of the APPG on Frozen British Pensions has today tabled a parliamentary motion, EDM1235, seeking to challenge the measure brought forward by the government to freeze the State Pensions of British people living overseas for another year.
Ian Blackford MP, has tabled a Motion to Annul the The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2016. This Statutory Instrument, laid before parliament last week, would actively exclude 550,000 overseas pensioners from the previously approved Uprating Order.
Challenging this particular kind of SI is quite complicated, as it is subject to negative procedure. The Motion to Annul has to initially be tabled as an Early Day Motion (EDM), and will only get debate time if it gathers sufficient support.
Blackford’s motion has been tabled as EDM 1235: Social Security
EDM 1235: Social Security
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2016 (S.I., 2016, No. 246), dated 25 February 2016, a copy of which was laid before this House on 1 March 2016, be annulled.
EDM 1235 now needs to collect sufficient MP signatures to persuade parliament to give it debate time.
If Blackford is able to secure time for his annulment motion and it is passed by a vote of parliament, all British pensioners, regardless of country of residence, would receive the same annual inflationary adjustment, rather than just those living in the UK, the EU, and a handful of other countries with historic bilateral agreements.
The cost to HM Treasury would be approximately £30million, a relatively insignificant sum in total pension expenditure terms.
Unless the Motion is passed the Statutory Instrument will come into effect on 11 April and more than half a million pensioners will be left all the poorer as a result.
John Markham, Director of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, the main campaign group representing frozen pensioners worldwide, has welcomed the move:
“We are delighted that the SNP have taken such a proactive approach to challenging this longstanding injustice, affecting 550,000 older British people worldwide.
Frozen pensions lead to poverty, loss of independence, loneliness and anger, and the affect is worst on the oldest and most vulnerable.
We now call on our many supporters, on all sides of the House, to come together to back this motion and give every British pensioner the inflation based increase they need and deserve this year.”