FOR many years the British government has been fighting a losing battle with British pensioners in Spain over cold weather payments. In fact one Labour minister laughed when I asked him some years ago whether Brits abroad would be able to receive this winter benefit. They will want help to pay their air conditioning bill next, he said. The law was changed so that expats could receive cold weather payments but earlier this week Chancellor George Osborne decided to scrap the benefit for Spain-based British pensioners. Why are people who move to another European Union country being discriminated in this way? Surely, the whole idea of the European dream is that European citizens have equal rights and benefits similar to the their country of origin? Surely British pensioners in Spain deserve cold weather payments? Afterall the majority have paid into the British tax system and deserve some financial comfort from the British government. I know times are hard and the British government is short of cash but picking on pensioners who have moved abroad is not the way forward. Ofcourse it is colder in Britain than in Spain. This is one of the reasons why the majority of us moved here in the first place. But it does get cold during the winter months, when temperatures drop and British pensioners, who are surviving on a smaller pension, thanks to the awful state of the British economy and the lower value of sterling, need help.
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