Former college lecturer Anne Puckridge, now 91, lived and worked in the UK all her working life, paying mandatory NI contributions throughout this time.
In 2002, aged 77 she finally retired and decided to move to Canada to be with her daughter and grandchildren who had moved to Calgary in the 1990s. Fourteen years on, Anne, who served as an intelligence officer in the Women’s Royal Navy in the Second World War, is struggling to live on the frozen £75.50 a week rate, she was entitled to when she moved abroad. Anne now feels that she will be forced to move back to Britain, because her pension will no longer cover day to day expenses and she is increasingly reliant on her daughter to get by.
“It’s the small things, and the injustice, that is really getting to me. I value my independence, but I can’t go on living on the breadline and I don’t want to inflict this on my family. As well as ever-increasingly poverty, I feel a sense of stress and shame, which is affecting my health”.
In the recent debate in the House of Commons on Pensions Uprating, when referring to Anne, Mhairi Black, MP, Scottish National Party had this to say:
“We are saying, ‘We’re not going to give you that money, but you can go and live abroad, make yourself ill through poverty, worry and the stress of having to come home. When you are forced to return to Britain, don’t worry, we’ll foot the bill for the NHS and everything else.’ The argument about cost does not stand up—costs will increase when pensioners who have been made ill through stress or whatever, have to come back in order to survive”.
Picture courtesy of Canadian Press