YES, this is a vote-catching exercise to demonstrate the government is tough by showing they are restricting benefits to those who need/deserve them.
Yes, we are an easy target, particularly as we cannot vote after 15 years abroad.
Yes, winters in France can be bitter – we live 720m up in the Pyrénées with just a log-burning stove and have sat, wrapped in blankets and hot-water bottles with an indoor temperature of only 7C in our living room yet the government says it is ‘warm’!
But this is only the beginning of the attack on the benefits paid to the elderly.
There is a tendency to use our generation as scapegoats for the UK’s problems.
We are the ‘greedy baby boomers’ whose degenerate lifestyles and craving for the good things in life have wrecked the planet and created the financial meltdown.
The younger generations, it is said, are having to cope with the mess we made.
So there will be no sympathy for elderly expat ‘rats’ who deserted the UK ship to live the good life and who expect those back home to fund it.
Cultivating this negative picture will make it easier for successive governments to destroy the support pensioners have traditionally enjoyed from the public, and to cut their entitlements.
It was hard for earlier governments to harm generations who had fought two world wars to protect our freedoms: not so for the post-war generation.
We need representation for all OAPs, as there will be a concerted and insidious campaign to undermine support for the elderly and cut their entitlements.
Despite the fact we have paid tax and national insurance all our working lives, this will be forgotten and we will be vilified as scrounging greedy drains on society and the government will then have carte blanche to cut back any financial support with impunity.
Measures like these winter allowance cuts are just the beginning. Anyone involved in supporting pensioners at home or abroad needs to realise that this is the case and start counteracting the anti-pensioner campaign right now.
We must not lose sight of the ultimate aim which is to greatly reduce the government’s
bill for the elderly.
Every attempt to denigrate the elderly and reduce entitlements must be tackled
immediately. I therefore fully support the Connexion stance and action but urge you to widen it and recruit some political big hitters to the cause.