These are Brian Lechem (CABP), Brian Leggett (BPiA), John Markham (CABP), Sheila Telford(CABP) and Jim Tilley(BPiA). Tony Bockman, the Chairman has decided to step down both as Chairman and an ICBP director for personal reasons.
There followed a short Director’s meeting and Sheila Telford was elected new Chairman of ICBP.
The board of ICBP would like to thank Tony Bockman, once again, for his extraordinary contribution to ICBP since its inception and the tremendous work he has put into the frozen pensions’ fight. His legacy for us is his tenacity and determination to keep on going until we have a successful resolution.Posted in News | Leave a comment May 7, 2013
The International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) has responded to the government announcement regarding the payment of “married person’s pensions” to people living abroad based solely on their spouses’ British work history.
Following an announcement from the Pensions Minister, Stephen Webb MP, about the government action being taken to address existing loopholes and anomalies, the Consortium highlights that there is further action which needs to be taken.
John Markham, ICBP Director of UK Parliamentary Affairs commented:
“We recognise that the current British pension system is in dire need of an overhaul and that going forward in 21st century, everyone should be responsible for their own pension dependent on their own work and contribution history. Under the new system women will be able to build up a pension in their own right which means that of necessity, “spousal” pensions will become a thing of the past.
However, this overhaul also needs to recognise that every pensioner can expect to receive the pension they have earned dependent on the rules in place at the time and that pension must be increased by inflation every year for all pensioners, wherever they choose to live in retirement. The Government must seize this opportunity to cease its random policy of freezing pensions in certain countries and not in others”.Posted in News | Leave a comment April 29, 2013
In response to our letter to David Cameron, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have responded, as the department with responsibility on this issue. However, we have written again to the Prime Minister to emphasise our disappointment and frustration caused by the failure of Downing Street to engage on this issue.
You can view the DWP’s letter here: DWP Response
You can view our follow-up to the Prime Minister’s office here: Our response to the Prime MinisterPosted in News | Leave a comment March 26, 2013
The Work and Pensions Select Committee has published its report on the Government’s plan for the Single Tier Pension (STP). The ICBP viewed this as a good opportunity to make the case once again for up-rating pensions for UK pensioners living in countries where it is currently frozen. As part of the Committee’s four week period of evidence sessions and hearings, the ICBP was invited to give written evidence to the inquiry. The ICBP submission stressed the increasing urgency of the campaign and put forward a strong case against current government policy.
In their final report issued today, the Committee summarises the evidence it received from the ICBP and its affiliated branch (the CABP). In support of repeated ICBP arguments, the Committee agrees that the existing situation is “clearly an anomaly”. It goes on to say that the introduction of the STP “presents an opportunity to remove this anomaly” whilst noting that such changes would only affect future pensioners after the STP implementation date. The Committee acknowledges the plight of current frozen pensioners but notes that a decision on the existing situation “needs to be taken separately and on its own merits”.
The findings of Select Committees and their recommendations are frequently used by Parliamentarians when Bills (such as STP Bill) are scrutinised by the House of Commons. Their recommendations are also thoroughly scrutinised by the Department affected and can be incorporated by Departments when making preparations to lay a Bill before the House of Commons.
The recognition of and reference to the campaign by such a high profile Committee serves to add weight to the strong arguments already put forward by the ICBP for changes to existing policy on frozen pensions. With help from its members and supporters the Consortium continues to fight for pension justice within Parliament.Blog, News | Leave a comment March 18, 2013
The ICBP sent an open letter to the Prime Minister in response to the recent Commonwealth Equal Rights Charter, drawing attention to the gross injustice of the government policy on frozen pensions. We highlighted the shameful betrayal by successive political parties despite their support for the campaign and made clear that up-rating frozen pensions was not the financial burden which Government claims it is. In fact, research shows that unfreezing pensions brings with it significant financial benefits for the government which equate to the cost of up-rating.
The Government claims UK state pensions are being drastically overhauled to make them fit for the 21st century. Overhauling an illogical old policy is a vital step towards doing so. We await the Prime Minister’s response.News | Leave a comment March 11, 2013
On Monday 11th March the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb MP, appeared before the Department for Work and Pensions Select Committee to give evidence on the State Pension reforms.
The ICBP has a longstanding relationship with Steve Webb who is leading the Government’s pension reforms. Following the submission of written evidence by affected groups such as the ICBP, the Committee called the Minister to answer questions on issues emerging from this evidence.
MPs on the Committee acknowledged the importance of the frozen pensions issue by questioning the Minister about frozen pensions.
The Committee Chair, Anne Begg MP, Graham Evans MP and Steven Lloyd all interrogated the Minister about government plans for reform of the frozen pension policy.
The Minister conceded that the rules were “pretty odd” when pressed by MPs and was unable to respond when asked to justify these inconsistencies. He stated that the new Pensions bill would continue current arrangements.
The ICBP will await the recommendations of the Committee in response to the Minister’s remarks.
Watch the Minister give evidence here at the 18:04 mark.
Posted in News | Leave a comment February 28, 2013
As a test run for our ongoing key marginal seat campaign, the ICBP undertook an exciting campaign in the Eastleigh By-Election led by our UK Spokesperson Brian Leggett. Although the date of the by-election was announced far sooner than expected, within three weeks the ICBP had crafted and implemented an effective campaign.
As the ICBP Spokesperson, Brian attended local hustings where the party candidates answered questions from members of the public and the ICBP wrote to all candidates asking them to outline their position on the issue. To draw public and political attention to the campaign we placed an advert in the local paper and decided to place a billboard in the constituency.
We commissioned a striking billboard at the Spitfire Roundabout (a busy thorough-fare close to the main train station in Eastleigh) which was the focus of an unveiling to the media on 25th February. It delivered a damning message about the government betrayal of frozen pensioners: “Supported by the Lib Dems in opposition. Abandoned by the Lib Dems in government. How can we trust the Lib Dems again?”
The billboard campaign received excellent national and local media coverage and was featured in the Daily Mail, BBC, Evening Standard, as well as local newspapers and pensions magazines. Brian was interviewed on national radio and the campaign featured on ABC Australia.Posted in Blog | Leave a comment February 1, 2013
Tell the government your story on how this affects YOU. They are asking to hear from you now.
Tell them to use this time – the time when new legislation is being drafted – to introduce equal treatment for all who have paid National Insurance contributions in an equal manner.
Tell them this is the time for righting an inequity that even ministers of the Crown, including pension and policy ministers, have said is irrational and illogical.
Tell them that this is the moment to demonstrate the morality and respect that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg claims is behind Britain’s decision to spend £12 billion on international aid during tough economic times at home (on a radio phone-in on January 10th he said this was “morally right” and “It’s the right thing to do.”). Tell them this is the opportunity for them to do what is morally right for British pensioners as well, simply by treating them all equally – nothing extra, nothing more. And nothing less.
The upfront cost of this morally right decision is estimated to be £650 million a year, but that figure (less than 1% of the benefits budget) does not reflect the bottom-line – it is money that will be recovered and then some. Savings of more than £7 billion over the next 20 years have been identified by an economic forecasting firm (a firm trusted by decision-makers around the world: Oxford Economics), as flowing from universal pension uprating. Their evidence is on file with the government.
Tell them that universal pension uprating has the advantageous effect of increasing the number of seniors emigrating, leading to the financial and logistical easing of pressures on the National Health Service and various seniors’ programs – frozen pensioners already save the government £2.1 billion a year. It will also ease the worrisome migration gap (more people immigrating than emigrating) and release desperately needed housing units in Britain.
Tell them universal pension uprating is a win-win situation.Posted in News | Leave a comment January 22, 2013
The ICBP submitted evidence today at the invitation of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Select Committee. The Committee is holding an inquiry into the proposed government reform of state pensions.
The ICBP has called for the issue of frozen pensions to be urgently addressed as part of these reforms. The Consortium’s evidence drew attention to the plight of those affected and the urgent need to address the issue given not just the current societal pressures but also the moral obligation of the government to introduce pension justice. The ICBP recommended the removal of a specific piece of secondary legislation in order to deliver this.
This activity was supported by additional submissions from the Canadian and Australian branches of the Consortium as well as submissions from individuals relating to their own cases.
The evidence provides MPs on the Committee with information about the pressing issues surrounding pensions reform. It will also help to inform MPs in asking questions of relevant individuals called to give evidence such as the Pensions Minister.
Posted in News | Leave a comment December 19, 2012
In this festive season, we also wanted to send MPs in Westminster a reminder of the continuing injustice that continues in their name, and of the thousands of people who fought and worked for Britain only to be ‘frozen out’. Every single one of them has received the e-card below, and the positive response from many bodes well for our work to build further Parliamentary support in 2013.
I hope you will also play your part, by emailing and sharing this image with all of your friends. Together, we can help to broaden awareness of this terrible injustice, and build support for our campaign in the months ahead.
With best wishes, TonyBlog, News | Leave a comment ← Older posts