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Pattaya British Pensioners Meet to Tackle Government

Les Edmonds 07.09.2010 11:26
Leaders of the UK Pension Parity group address supporters.

Leaders of the UK Pension Parity group address supporters.

British Pensioners in Thailand recently held two meetings at the Bowling Green in Soi Fuengfa.

The purpose of these meetings was to form an organisation to petition the UK Government to upgrade their pensions so that they have parity with the rest of the UK pensioners.

This case has already gone to the highest Court possible, namely the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights where the result was in favour of the UK government: a result that used legal technicalities without any consideration of the morality of the issue.

This means that any UK pensioner retiring to Thailand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and 48 other Commonwealth countries will never have any increase in their pensions until the day they die.

Unfair?? Of course it is...after all, these people worked all their life and paid into the system in the expectation of getting a liveable pension with annual increments to cover the increases in the cost of living.

Both meetings discussed the possible ways forward now that the legal case has been lost. A resolution was passed at both meetings, to submit 1,000 baht per person, per annum to the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) to help fund the fight for collective pension parity.

A lot of MPs are aware of this situation and are favourably inclined towards a fair and just settlement to all pensioners.

The ICBP has plans to organise a huge electronic petition of at least 100,000 signatures, which, due to its size, will then be put to the House of Commons and debated.

To do this, we have to drum up support not just from ourselves but our families and friends who are still in the UK.

We are asking all our fellow pensioners to ask their families and friends to write to their MPs to ask why this anomaly is allowed to continue. Letters asking “why does the UK Government treat my Dad/Mother like this” or from grandchildren “why are you so mean to my Grandad/Grandma” are the sort of thing we are looking for in the hopes of getting more MPs on our side.

The other way forward is to have one or more very prominent persons to take up our case, as Joanna Lumley did with the Ghurkas and shamed the UK government into righting a wrong.

To this end we will be writing to actors/actresses, business people, the media etc in the hopes of drumming up support.

Financially, the Pension fund has over 55 billion pounds in it and our National Insurance contributions were part of that.

We actually save the Government money in that we no longer are a cost on social services, national health, free transport, and many other benefits, and we still pay tax on our pensions.

The Canadian Prime Minister and his cohorts are at present in discussions with David Cameron's team and hope to resolve this problem; hopefully applied to all of us wherever we may live.

They had considered asking all their members to boycott UK goods.Perhaps if all the frozen pensioners did the same it would have an effect upon the economy.

All of us here contribute to Thailand's economy on a regular basis, by shopping, eating out, visiting places of interest and even using taxis and baht buses, so perhaps someone in the Thai government would also take an interest in our plight.

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