They're not voting because...
- I'm not apathetic, just disenfranchised...
I'm not apathetic, just disenfranchised, because I left the UK 34 years ago disgusted with Harold Wilson's administration. However I take a keen interest in the politics of the Old Dart, because like many other expats I now receive a small UK State pension based on contributions I made when I was employed there, plus some more I was invited to contribute as I approached pension age.
At no time was I advised by the UK authorities that this pension would not be indexed for inflation. Then I discovered that it is indexed in some 50 countries around the world, like the Philippines, Turkey, Bosnia Barbados but not Trinidad!!
This is crazy immoral and totally out of touch with international conventions with regard to pensions. And what do the "Poms" say in their defence? "We cannot afford to pay £400 million/year to you guys to index your pensions". Not afford? They can spend £billions on a war in Iraq; they have £22 billion above the prudential balance in the NI coffers. What numbskull in Whitehall is advising the politicians this garbage. It's the politicians who have to make such absurd statements on their minions' advice . The Minister and his minions are a laughing stock among us expats and if I could vote I would vote them out and vote in the Liberal-Dems, who see the morality in treating us expats with equality.
I trust some others who may read this will see reason thus to not waste their vote and at least remove the fraudsters like Labour and the Tories who have both continued to mislead the British public for too long now. I left the UK because I could not abide Wilson; Blair is no better.
Yours sincerelywritten 20th Apr 2005
Hon Chairman British Pensions in Australia. [proud now to be a naturalised Australian and apalled at what I see governing the Old country I was brought up to believe was founded on fair play and equity . "Fat chance".
Lorenzo replies: Jim you're a lucky man, some of us can't afford to escape the "Old" and dying country.written 20th Apr 2005
Gavin replies: If the Lib Dems did pay you what you undoubtedly deserve, they would do so by stealing the money from the "very wealthy" of this coutry who deserve to keep their share every bit as much as you deserve yours. I do hope something is sorted out for you and others in your position, but the Lib Dems would go about it in an unreasonable and economically non-viable way.written 20th Apr 2005
mrmehkri replies: When Labour was ruling UK - before Tories ousted them in 1979 - the top tax rate was 63% or so. Every professional wanted to go out of UK and brain drain was alarming. Tories reduced the top Tax rate to 40% but had to cut corners from social services including NHS. Then came labour again - they could not increase the top tax rate as it would have killed them politically for ever- so increased the National insurance rates and they have not yet committed themselves to not to raise it again. If lib-dem comes to power - which is highly unlikely as their voter base is the one which is mostly effected by increase in local and national taxation - the brain drain will increase again and guess who will come to fill the vacum - the poor immigrants who will then face the music from those of the pure British left in UK as the rest would have emigrated and looking for indexed pensions. Solution is more of British people should work, improve productivity, cut hands out due to illness (genuine and fake). They should compete for job just as some one from Poland or Portugal would. (Yes - most immigration now is from new EU countries which even Tory Immigration Controller for Controlled Immigration can't do a thing about). If more British people are contributing to NI fund, then there would be enough to pay decent pensions without robing from those who earn more (mind you, with high mortgages, they may not be wealthy - just high earner like possibly Hospital Consultants).written 20th Apr 2005