APPG Meeting – 18th April 2018
May 1, 2018 Catherine Jones 13 Comments
Frozen Pensions APPG Meeting
The APPG for Frozen British Pensions met on Wednesday, 18th April at Portcullis House. The agenda included updates on Parliamentary activity, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and Brexit.
The meeting was opened by Sir Roger Gale MP, and we were grateful to be joined by many other supporters, who dropped in throughout the session.
- Sir Roger Gale MP (Chair of the APPG)
- John Duffy (Director of the International Consortium of Pensions)
- Jack Dromey MP
- Alex Cunningham MP
- George Howarth MP
- Rosie Duffield MP
- Emily Burditt (Secretariat)
- Hamish Campbell-Shore (The PHA Group)
- Update by Sir Roger Gale on Parliamentary Activity
Sir Roger informed the group that since our last meeting, he has been in correspondence with both Malcolm Turnbull (Prime Minister of Australia) and Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada), and that had received letters from both Governments saying that they remain committed to achieving pension parity for all those entitled to a British state pension living in Australia and Canada. Sir Roger hoped that Malcolm Turnbull may have had a chance to raise the issue directly with Theresa May, but it was agreed that there was otherwise little hope of it being raised with her directly at CHOGM.
Sir Roger also reported that he is waiting for a reply from David Davis MP (Secretary of State for Department of Exiting the European Union) in regards to a letter he had sent him clarifying the position of pensioners receiving their state pensions in the EU, which will not be fully clarified until a final deal is done with the EU. George Howarth MP noted that he had recently submitted written questions on this issue and had also not received a firm answer.
- Update on activity from the International Consortium of Pensioners
John Duffy was then able to provide an overview of the activity of the International Consortium of Pensioners (ICBP).
The ICBP has been doing a lot of activity around the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, to which John Duffy has been a delegate. He has managed to get several questions asked on frozen pensions at the People’s Forum. The ICBP has also had an ‘advan’ patrolling Westminster with a message on about frozen pensions.
- Update on the Labour Party’s support by Jack Dromey MP
Jack Dromey MP, who is now the Labour Party’s Shadow Pensions Spokesperson, addressed the group. He confirmed that Labour is still in favour of unfreezing pensions. They will be looking to raise the issue at every opportunity. It was unfortunate that the SI could not be prayed against due to its effect on Carer’s Allowance.
John Duffy noted that he would be meeting with Ian Blackford MP (Leader of the SNP) and Mhairi Black MP (Pensions Spokesperson for the SNP) and would speak with them about tactics and working together on a cross-party basis.