News - Full Report
BPiA Chairman's Monthly Report for Feb-March
International Consortium Activities.
BPiA Chairman’s Monthly Report for Feb-March 2014
International Consortium activities
In the past month and a half the ICBP committee has been working at generating further publicity highlighting our long running campaign for universal indexation of the UK State Pension. Several articles have been published in various UK
newspapers with the help of PHA our PR-media advisers.
These articles include the following;-
And for the many Scots in our association who are worried and phone or write to me about “what will happen to our pensions if Scotland votes to become independent?”
· Read http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/394769/Pensions-freeze-fear-for-foreign-Scots
In our last report it was indicated that a preliminary APPG meeting was to be held in London on April 1. Below is a report on the meeting, including reference to newspaper articles about the meeting.
International Consortium of British Pensioners
1st April saw the very successful launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group [APPG] on Pensions Reform in the Commonwealth Association Room in the House of Commons. ICBP’s Chairman Sheila Telford, CABP’s Dave Morris and BPiA’s Brian Leggett from ICBP were there. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, John Markham who first mooted the idea of this APPG was unable to make the trip. The Head of Political Strategy of PHA,our media consultancy, had put a great deal of time into working on the launch and everything came together as planned. Jim Tilley stayed back in Sydney to avoid costly travel costs.
An APPG group is a formal structure within Westminster, consisting of at least 20 Parliamentarians, of which 10 have to be from the government party and 10 from the opposition. It is used to formally lobby the government, and to promote the
interests of the particular topic for which it was formed - in our case, frozen pensions.
This new APPG is headed by Sir Roger Gale (Conservative), with vice chairs Dame Anne Begg (Labour), and Lord German (Lib Dem).
The launch was extremely well attended, with other MPs, Members of the House of Lords, the media, and representation from groups such as Age UK, The TUC, the National Pensioner Convention, and the Canadian and Australian High Commissions.
Both the Chair and Vice Chairs spoke very forcefully about the issue. Dave Morris, ICBP Director and Chairman of
CABP was also on the Panel, and had the opportunity to address the audience.
The Parliamentarians who are involved with this Group are as passionate as we are about the need to unfreeze pensions and it is most encouraging to now have a voice within Westminster, instead of always being on the outside trying to make politicians listen.
Sir Roger Gale, the Chairman of the Group stated that they now need to amass the information they have and figure out how to move forward. The ICBP have offered to undertake any research they require as their own resources are limited. It
is important that we attempt as far as we can, to persuade enthusiastic supporters not to overwhelm the APPG panel with information so that, hopefully, communications with the APPG can be coordinated through ICBP.
Following the launch, there was strong, supportive, media coverage in the Independent and the Telegraph the following day:
And a less relevant article in the Daily Mail last week;-
The success of this APPG event was followed by private meetings with Lord John Shipley and Lord Mike German, who gave us the benefit of their advice on what issues we should consider uppermost. Lord German believes for example that the Government is scared of the cost of retrospective backdating, if they were to concede unfreezing.
(BPiA Chairman’s note – It has never been ICBP or BPIA’s intention to look for retrospective backdated payments; our sole aim is to have ALL current ex-pat pensions bought up to the current level of payment applicable for UK Residents and for the full application of all future indexation increases . Jim Tilley)
BPiA Chairman’s Monthly Report for Feb-March 2014
On Thursday 3rd April we were able to meet with the staff of the Canadian High Commission in London to discuss the frozen pension policy. The Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Alan Kessel confirmed to us that it is firmly Canada's practice to fully brief every Canadian politician who visits the UK in order for them to keep raising the issue of frozen pensions. At the APPG launch, the Head of Political and Economic Branch of the Australian High Commission affirmed that this is also the policy of the Australian Government.
It was evident that other countries besides Canada and Australia also need to become similarly active.
It is important that other ‘frozen’ pensioners around the world to do everything they can where they live to persuade their national government to take political action against pension freezing. Their domestic economies will become increasingly affected as more and more baby boomers in Britain seek to retire to frozen countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Japan (already home to the fifth-largest group of frozen pensioners), India, Pakistan, Thailand, Trinidad
and Tobago, and other Caribbean nations.
Chairman, International Consortium of British Pensioners. April 6 2014
Further reporting of this event by some International and Pension advisers has been discovered in this article;
Votes in UK General elections for all expats?
A very active group of expats, located mostly in Europe, have been campaigning for votes in the UK elections for all of us expats, to operate in the same manner as the French system who have voting rights worldwide and even have some MPs of their own representing their views. Should you be interested in this initiative, learn more about the campaign by visiting the group’s website
http://www.votes-for-expat-brits.com/ and please consider signing their petition.
BPiA’s recruiting activities during Febrary & March added a further 81 new members.
We continued our recruiting activities on the first weekend in April, attending the Brigadoon Scottish festival at Bundanoon in The NSW Southern Highlands, with our stall where, aided by Ken Jeffrey and later Canberra’s Rob Cason, we handed out many of our brochures and literature and signed up 25 new members.
Later this month I will be meeting in Sydney with the senior adviser to Senator Marise Payne, the Minister for Human Services, to see what this Federal Minister can do to help boost our membership through publicity in Centrelink. The
eventual success in our campaign will lower Centrelink’s pension annual payment bill by about $200 million, so the Minister should have an interest in providing us with maximum assistance.
We need to maintain our best efforts to encourage our contacts, friends and families to join BPiA to help build the necessary funds to keep the political advocacy campaign in the UK on track. So please, at every opportunity, tell people
and if possible write to your local newspaper about the issue. Publicise for us that our fight, to be treated fairly and equally with expat British pensioners in the US, the EU etc, will bring over $500 million into Australia each year, more than the additional beef exports to Japan that Tony Abbott has been boasting of this week. He needs to get of his “butt” and work on the intransigent UK government to practice what they preach, by ceasing to practice their selective discrimination against us few “Frozen Pensioners”, just 4% of the UK pensioner population.
Thank you Jim Tilley ,
Hon Chairman; Woronora Heights, NSW April 10th 2014
BPiA, a founder member of ICBP, is a non-profit volunteer association of close on 12,000 expatriate
British Pensioners intent on forcing the UK Government to index the UK pensions universally.
See www.bpia.org.au Email email@example.com Phone 1300 308 353;
Postal address - PO Box 474, Edgecliff, NSW 2027;
Date Added: 2014-04-12