PREMATURE WINTER DEATHS IN SPAIN 16% HIGHER THAN THE UK.
Whilst the British Government ‘fiddles’ with a variety of ideas to circumnavigate the European Court Ruling against them for discrimination over Winter
Fuel Allowances for Expat Pensioners - all of Europe ‘burns’ with British Citizens anger over a barrage of almost daily threats to their very existence.
The British Government, still smarting from its ruling from the European Court
seems hell-bent on creating as much fear and confusion for the elderly as possible if they live outside of the UK.
In respect of the Winter Fuel Allowance, they have been caught with their proverbial pants down using ‘dodgy data’ to support
their reasoning for comparing the average winter temperatures of whole countries like France and Spain with just a part of the UK.
In a letter composed by Steve Webb MP, Minister of State for Pensions he says “Although the temperature criterion
will be set by reference to the warmest region of the UK, entitlement in the EEA will be based on the temperature of the whole country, not regions of countries. This is because it would be unnecessarily complex and costly to administer the Winter Fuel Payment
scheme on a regional basis within the EEA, so a simple rule has been proposed, based on the average winter air temperature for a country”.
What Mr Webb’s letter did not mention was the fact that in the case of France for example their
average temperature was derived from including the five hot French overseas departments of : -
The Islands of Reunion and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, French Guiana in South America, The Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Similarly with Spain, they included Spanish held islands/regions and nobody has come clean as to whether all the 34 regions like Balearic Islands, Canary Islands (off the West Coast of Africa), and islands off the coast of North Africa been included
to similarly increase the average temperature.
The Government will not consider the very cold areas of France and Spain in winter because they know they would lose the argument but they were very quick to rule Italy as being a cold country!
They say what they are doing will save money but the European court will not accept ‘cost’ as an excuse for repeated discrimination.
And so the compilation of ‘Dodgy Data’ continues until the Government will hopefully be ruled
out of order once more by the European Court.
Meanwhile research carried out by Dr J Healy of the University College of Dublin over a 10 year period shows that the premature mortality rate of Spain averages 21% (19,000 excess winter deaths annually)
on par with Ireland also 21%.
The UK on the other hand has an average of 18% (in real terms 16.66% lower than Spain!). The overall percentage for the UK is made up of England with 19%, Wales 17%, Northern Ireland 17%, and Scotland
In his report the good Doctor Healy concludes that in the past, Southern Europe has been overlooked when considering seasonal variations in mortality but says “This may be attributable to the perception that such countries
are not affected be excess winter deaths because of their mild winter climates.”
He further states “This paper shows that such a perception is highly mistaken”.
Government please take note!
This Government should also note that Italy the country singled out by them for favour has a winter premature mortality rate of just 16% compared to the UK’s 18% and is 24% lower than Spain!
Meanwhile back in
England, no less than 340 MPs have claimed a total of 200,000 pounds for energy bills from their second homes for the year, off the taxpayer. Big salaries, large but dubious expense accounts and that is still not enough for the greediest of
the greedy. One MP claimed over 5,800 pounds for one year enough to fund 29 expat pensioners with Winter Fuel Allowance!
At the very least these MPs should show some restraint and respect for the elderly who will die in significant numbers this winter
because they cannot afford to keep warm.
Cameron declares glibly, that he does not have a spare 500 million to address the wrongs done to expat Brits all over the world but gives India 280 million which has enabled it to spend 45 million on a Mars visitation
rocket and enough to spare for another 6 similar trips. British hopes of any independent space adventure died in the late 50´s with the cancellation of “Blue Streak” and “Black Night” rocket projects.
Come the next election
Cameron should be prepared to see great swathes of previously declared expat Conservative voters who currently can vote, desert him and his party through their disgust at his insensitivity in these matters.
Author: Clive Walley in Spain.