Osborne missing opportunity to save Britain £30bn
The Chancellor has apparently ignored an economic study conducted by the reputable Oxford Economics and passed-up the chance of helping those older people who want to move abroad. If he ended an unfair pension policy which affects over half a million pensioners, then he could take pressure off of public services and free up housing units.
The policy in question is the freezing of pensions; if you choose to retire abroad, you will not have your pension increased in-line with inflation, so your pension will be worth less and less each year. This unfair policy has a random application and affects some of the most popular retirement destinations such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and most of the Commonwealth countries. However, sometimes crossing the border can mean that difference between a pensioner losing out on thousands of pounds or not for example, pensions are frozen in Canada but not in the US.
The issue of frozen pensions currently affects over half a million recipients of the British state pension worldwide. It also affects anyone thinking of retiring abroad – recent polling has shown that half of 45-64 year olds in the UK would definitely or possibly consider moving abroad. However, 62% of them do not know that their Basic State Pension will be frozen by moving to certain countries. The survey also showed that half (43%) of respondents are angry or annoyed at the government that it discriminates between pensioners in this way.
Research by Oxford Economics has shown that in 2011 the net benefit to the Treasury of a pensioner moving aboard was £2500 per year.
It would cost just £630 million to achieve this massive eventual net accumulated £30 billion saving over a 15 year time frame, longer than it seems the Treasury is prepared to think. There are more than £2 billion in savings each year from the half a million plus frozen pensioners already living overseas. The Government needs to come to terms with their long standing immoral, unfair and discriminatory pension policy and listen to the 17,500 people who have signed the e-petition calling to end this policy – http://bit.ly/BritPensions.
Notes to editor
1. The ICBP e-petition can be found here http://bit.ly/BritPensions
2. The International Consortium of British Pensioners campaigns on behalf of the over 500,000 people who currently have their British State Pension Frozen and all those who may in the future want to retire to one of the frozen countries. British State pensions are frozen in over 120 countries around the world, including most of the Commonwealth countries such as Australia , Canada and New Zealand
3. The Oxford Economics research was carried out in March 2011
4. The polling mentioned was carried out by the respected pollsters Opinium LLP with a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 45-65 year olds in February 2011