EDM 1235: APPG launches parliamentary challenge to the measure used to freeze overseas state pensions

March 10, 2016 Frozen Pensions 7 Comments

EDM1235A 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.”

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  1. Andy Robertson-Fox
    March 11, 2016 - 3:26 pm

    Thank you, Ian Blackford for tabling this Early Day Motion and I note that as I write some 37 MPs have signed, all from the SNP. I hope that not only will your colleagues on this APPG quıckly join you but that you and they will prevail on other members of all parties in the House to do the same. The frozen pension policy is not only a disgrace but an indictment of this and previous governments and brings the very word democracy into disrepute.

    • Poodle 27
      March 12, 2016 - 2:45 am

      How many MPs signatures do you need to get this through? Trying hard to get MPs, particularly from the Opposition. We cannot lose this battle now. How can these people live with themselves by trying to put us off for yet another year? Waiting for more of us to die, Mr. Osborne? Some of us are really quite desperate!

      • Andy Robertson-Fox
        March 12, 2016 - 8:51 am

        There is no magic number and it must be said that very few EDMs get debated on the floor of the House…many are never intended to be but simply designed to draw passıng attention to some noteworthy occurance. However, it is a means of keeping the issue in the minds of MPs and the public and, in our case, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and his ministerial staff. With the exceptıon of Government ministers, Government Whips, Parliamentary Private Secretaries and the Speaker and Deputy speakers, all MPs are eligible to sign.

        The decision whether to propose the issue be debated rests with a recommendation from the Backbencher’s Committee and, of course, the more MPs supporting the motıon the better the chance….this is why it should be signed by members from all parties as, at the time of writing it looks like an SNP monopoly policy!

  2. Morgeo
    March 11, 2016 - 5:35 pm

    I agree with Andy Robertson-Fox that this must be addressed and is such an outdated policy that is is actually bringing the UK Government into disrepute around the world along with the fact that there has as yet been no justified reason for maintaining the status quo.
    By placing section 20 into the Pensions Act all MP’s that support this policy are condoning theft & discrimination and could be dismissed with ignominy in other jobs like the armed forces for doing so.
    And where is the Government Equality ? Never a word from this quango even though the people affected are living in the UK because they cannot join family abroad if the country is one if those affected by the freezing policy which is denying them the freedom if choice in retirement when still in the UK.

  3. Poodle 27
    March 12, 2016 - 2:48 am

    Completely agree with Andy Robertson-Fox.

  4. Poodle 27
    March 12, 2016 - 2:11 pm

    Thank you. Working on it.

  5. Brian Corrigan
    March 19, 2016 - 11:48 am

    A lack of business acumen.

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