CONNEXION readers have helped boost to more than 12,000 a petition against UK government plans to stop Winter Fuel Payments to expats in countries deemed “too hot”, including France.
The petition has grown by 3,000 signatures in a week. It means that the UK government will give a written response to it as it promises to do for all petitions gaining more than 10,000 signatures.
Connexion was told this morning that an official reply is expected to be posted during October. Should the petition gain 100,000 or more signatures by its closing date in June next year, it would also be debated in parliament.
At present no debate is expected to take place. An official told Connexion that the ban on the £200 - £300 allowance would be part of regulations that were likely to be passed without discussion in early 2015.
The petition can be found at: WFP petition. It is open to residents of the UK and all UK nationals. If you live out of the UK the site does not always accept every postcode and rejects the signature – if so, leave this field blank.
The Connexion has received many letters and emails from readers opposing the ban. You can read a selection in the October edition on Connexion, on sale in newsagents across France from today. More letters can also be found at: WFP letters
Connexion believes issues like the WFP would be better addressed if the UK had a system similar to France’s whereby expatriates are represented in the UK parliament by their own MPs, instead of the MP for their last UK constituency (and then only for their first 15 years abroad).
France has 11 MPs and a minister to represent its 2 million expats around the world. The UK has no dedicated MP for expats despite there now being more than 5 million Britons living abroad - many of whom still pay tax - and own property - in the UK. We believe debate on issues such as pensions, allowances, university fees, voting rights, referendums and more affecting expats would be better served through the establishment of such an MP.
A petition has been launched this week on this topic. If you support this proposal you can sign the petition at: Expat MPs petition Again it can be signed by British nationals wherever they live but, if you are not in Britain you may find the online form will not accept your postcode – in that case, leave the field blank.
Photo: snty-tact (Talk)