Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford has called for an “urgent debate” on overseas frozen pensions.
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday), Mr Blackford said: “I believe the house should have the opportunity to debate this matter that leaves 550,000 UK pensioners facing hardship, as well as acting to discourage many UK citizens living in the UK to return to their country of origin as many wish to do in their retirement.”
He stressed that there was no consistency in the way overseas pensioners were treated. For example, those living in the US Virgin Islands receive a full pension whilst pensions for those in the British Virgin Islands are frozen.
Mr Blackford gave several examples of pensioners from across Britain who had moved overseas and were now being forced to consider moving back to the UK because of financial hardship. In addition he raised the case of a 91-year-old grandmother who was unable to join her family in Australia because of the prospect of a frozen pension.
On the subject of the forthcoming Brexit referendum, he added: “There are 400,000 UK pensioners living in EU countries. The question of those additional numbers facing potential freezing of their pensions, is in my opinion a matter worthy of urgent debate.”