In a heavily biased article in the Daily Mail published on 13th November, the newspaper showed its true colours by printed a totally one-sided report on the Winter Fuel Fiasco which affects up to almost half a million expat
pensioners living out their last few years on the European mainland.
The article which included a tawdry looking image of Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) appearing for all his worth like a used-car salesman also employed even more dodgy looking data
to press the governments point home.
It all starts with IDS ‘slamming the EU Courts’ ruling against the government over its acts of discrimination against British expat pensioners choosing to live outside of the UK as the Treaty of Rome
permits them to do. It was a defining principle of the original “Common Market” that Britain gleefully signed up to in the beginning, that people from all member states could travel, live and work freely in any member state without fear or favour.
The article focuses wholly on Western Europe and absolutely no figures are provided in respect of taxpayer’s money being paid out to other parts of the world including Winter Fuel Allowances in Africa and India and boatloads of loot to Pakistan and
goodness knows where else.
In what is becoming a blatantly obvious pre-occupation by the Conservative party with the swings in favour of UKIP and its single policy politics, the government is using every opportunity to preach the politics of envy in
their desperation to win over UKIP supporters to the Conservative ranks before the next election.
Anyone who has had to see children through their school years knows all about school bullies. It appears that some of them have never reformed or grown
up properly and have found their way through to the seat of government in the UK. As we know, all bullies are cowards and they always pick on the weakest and most vulnerable to vent their spleen on. The British Government is picking on the old and frail who
in their lifetime or rather near to the end of it, have dared to live in Mainland Europe instead of crime-ridden Britain.
Many expat pensioners are there because they feel safer and the daytime temperatures can be milder than the UK in winter but the
night-time temperatures are another thing. They are very often considerably colder than the UK as we, on the Costa Blanca are to find out this week with snow forecast and night-time temperatures below 5 degrees. As I write we have icy winds blowing in the
middle of the day that feel like a scythe.
The Mails article continues with a dodgy looking graph with a distorted axis which endeavours to demonstrate ‘how the Winter Fuel Payments have soared in a decade.’ In true style, the authors of
this graph are not showing all the countries involved in the statistics. On the graph which shows an unspecified starting point for all the countries referred to including ‘Others’ there is a slow increase between the years 2002/2003 and 2009.
There is then a levelling off until 2011/12 when the graph suddenly jumps at an angle of around 60 degrees from the horizontal. This seeks to demonstrate that the increase in the number of Winter Fuel Payments of around 16,000 extra in Spain, 10,000 extra
in France and 11,000 extra in Ireland is due to the EU court Ruling against the UK government for discrimination. To the best of my knowledge the European Court’s ruling came later than this!
Notably “Others” although undefined are
the 4th largest recipients of the Allowance. The writer wonders why the contents of “others” is such a closely guarded secret!
Moving on from the Dodgy looking graph, to an even dodgier looking IDS, who appears to be sweating
in his photo, the man seems to have become obsessed with bullying expat pensioners.
As a brief aside, you will doubtless see and unfortunately hear Mr Cameron lecture the Sri Lankans on ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’
and ‘justice’ this weekend. Britain and its government, preach more about ethics to the rest of the world than any other country.
“Democracy, Freedom, Justice”! How does the British government apply these
three words to their own senior citizens? The simple answer is that in their view British Expat Pensioners are exempt from such considerations, they don’t qualify.
What the British Government is practising is ‘discrimination’
over the Winter Fuel Allowance, ‘punishment’ for living off shore from the UK, ‘contempt’ by freezing state pensions that people have paid into all their working lives, ‘disenfranchisement’
of time-served taxpayers after 15 years and ‘vulgarity’ in the way that they speak of and discus all these time-served taxpayers.
The British Governments treatment of expats living all over the world where they are disenfranchised
from voting in their country’s elections and the referendum on the EU, who live on frozen state pensions some as little as 8 pounds a week, whose reciprocal health care benefits are under threat and whose winter fuel allowances are about to be snatched
back because they don’t live north of Watford Gap, is calculated and most obnoxious.
Well Mr Cameron, there is no democracy in denying your own citizens the vote, no freedom in being discriminated against for daring to live off the coast of Britain
and no fairness in any of your policies towards expat pensioners.
Your article in this rag of a newspaper and associated comments of vulgarity towards us proves my point. In the article IDS, has the gall to shout “This increase is a direct result
of a ridiculous ruling by the European Court of Justice and we are not prepared to sit back and allow hard-working taxpayers money to be used this way”.
Well excuse me Mr Smith but the British Government has been able over 40 plus years to misuse
my weekly payments of tax and National Insurance and of others on whatever it deemed fit to use or waste it on without any concern or consultation with the taxpayer including me or saving it towards my state pension.
Within those wastages were the numerous
scams and schemes by serving politicians to line their own pockets at the tax-payers expense even unto this month when 340 of them claimed over 200,000 pounds for heating their second homes. Apparently they can claim anything up to 20,000
pounds a year for their second homes. A bit different than our 200 pound winter fuel allowance is it not?
Hypocrisy knows no bounds with some politicians!
The Mails article states “Previously, expats had to be resident in Britain until
they were 60 before they could claim the benefit, but the ruling allows people who lived or worked in Britain for most of their lives to qualify”.
Well Mr IDS I did just that and according to your rules I claimed my Winter Fuel Allowance in Britain
and a year before moving to Europe. You have arbitrarily decided to deprive me of my allowance by reneging on an earlier promise. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the EU Court Ruling so why are you lying about this? Why are you blaming everything on
the EU? Is this more anti EU-noise to attract UKIP voters?
Page 3 of my printout of this dreadful Mail Report has a table headed “Where the Money went”. Unlike the dodgy graph this dodgy table shows 13 countries with Spain at the top and
Iceland at the bottom. Notably this dodgy table shows the Republic of Ireland as the 3rd largest beneficiary of this money. Ireland is hardly likely to have tropical temperatures but hey, hands up all those Westminster politicians who have declined
their Winter Fuel Allowances!
The report claims that 49,443 expat pensioners living in Spain enjoy temperatures of 17 degrees during December and January.
This is sometimes possible in some areas during the day but they want the reader
to believe it is like that 24/7!
The real truth is that Spain by definition is a cold country with a lot of sunshine. But Mr Smith, your research assistants have neglected to tell you that the sun does not shine at night here! I know
that sometimes politicians show an incredible lack of intelligence but this is basic pre-school education it really does get dark (and cold) here at night!
In Spain it is bitterly cold and often below 0 degrees at night in the winter months. We have
the second highest premature winter death rate in Western Union of 21%, second only to 28% in another country where you are punishing expats - Portugal. The UK is 18% and is 16% lower in real terms than Spain. Fuel costs are prohibitively high here and possibly
worse than the UK. You see Mr Smith, when old people get too cold, they die. I would like to think that, that is not your objective but there is so much cynicism in British politics it’s hard for us old folk to tell fact from fiction. Incidentally, Italy
as a Mediterranean country that you consider “cold”, has a Premature Winter Death Rate OF 16% - even lower than the UK!
As a real final touch to this seedy government propaganda broadcast, the fourth and last page of my printout has a large
colour picture of a beach on the Costa del Sol. People are on the beach and swimming in the sea and generally enjoying themselves – they are probably holiday makers from Germany! The sun is clearly bursting through the heavens and it is blatantly obvious
that the photo was taken in daylight hours in the middle of the summer and its publication designed to deceive since the article is about winter and not summer!
The aim of the photo is to encourage hatred for expat pensioners from the ‘Have-nots’
and much of the Daily Mails readership appears to be made up of people like that judging by some of the ‘sick’ remarks about pensioners that I observed in the online comments including asking the government to take our passports away. The likes
of IDS have no perception of the lasting damage they are doing to the once great Conservative party who nobody will trust for years to come. They seem impervious to the needs and fears of the elderly and frail. They are the worst sort of bully to have in any
society. Maggie will be turning in her grave!
The Chancellor in backslapping his buddy IDS, described the 30 million pound savings as significant whilst a spokesman for the NHS described a 30 million pound spend on health tourists as “A drop in
the Ocean”. If you are going to speak with forked tongues it is better that everyone speaks the same language in case this humble electorate catches you out.
In the last few days the government have undertaken to pay mothers 200 pounds to breastfeed
their babies – I would have thought that, that would come naturally from any caring mother. Next there will be a body of paid snoopers to go round and check they are doing it – perverts need not apply. So in truth taking away the winter fuel allowance
has nothing to do with saving money – it is all about redistributing it!
We will see you in the European Court Mr Smith on further charges of discrimination. Better you enter a guilty plea now and admit countless other intended
Author in Spain
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