If we are to make the most of the opportunities ahead, we need a bold break with the past.
(Michael Gove -Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations)
The Federal election results give us the opportunity to renew pressure on the Australian Government to stand up for Australians when dealing with the UK Government. I have written to the Prime Minster, the Foreign Minister, the Minster for Women, the Treasurer and the Minister for Social Services congratulating them and asking them to raise the issue of frozen pensions with their UK counterparts.
I have also written to Julian Leeser, Susan Templeman and Zali Steggall congratulating them on their win, thanking them for their past support and looking forward to working with them in the future.
I have written to Senator Eric Abetz and Trent Zimmerman commiserating with them on their loss and thanking them for their past support.
We will shortly send a welcome pack to all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate explaining the frozen pensions issue. This is aimed at ensuring all newly elected members of Parliament are aware of the issue. It will also ensure there can be no excuse for any MP to not be aware of the UK Government’s discrimination against Australians.
This month, I’d like to ask if there is anyone who has skills in PR and media relations to come forward. We need someone to help write media releases and ensure they are delivered to the right people in radio, TV and newspapers in Australia. To be successful, we must ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the UK Government’s injustice and that it is only through BPiA that the discrimination against Australians will end.
The Elections Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022. One of the provisions in the Act gives British Citizens living overseas a lifetime right to vote in UK General Elections. This provision will not come into effect until June 2023 but if you wish to take advantage of it, you should get ready now to register when registration becomes available.
The ability to vote in UK General Elections will give you a powerful weapon. MPs of all parties will finally take notice of us if there are enough of us registered to vote and we make them aware of what is important to us.
As an overseas voter, if you were registered to vote before you left the UK, you will be able to register to vote in the electorate where you last voted in the UK. If you were too young to vote before you left the UK, you will be able to register in the electorate where you last lived in the UK. Please check that you know the address where you were last listed on the electoral roll before you left the UK or where you last lived in the UK. We will let you know how to register once these details become known.
We have written to the major political parties in the UK requesting a statement on their policy regarding the issue of frozen pension. We have told them that this will help voters living outside the UK make an informed decision when they vote in a future general election.
The petition to give U.K. pensioners living abroad increases with parity as those in the U.K. has received over 11,000 signatures. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition. In accordance with the rules for petitions, the UK Government has issued a statement in response. You can read the response by clicking on the blue button below
I have updated our Fact Sheet on Spouse Pensions. The rules around Spouse Pensions are probably the most complex of all the rules relating to UK State Pensions so I hope that what I have written provides some clarity. You can read the new Fact Sheet by clicking on the red button below.
Please keep Saturday 1st October free. This is the International Day of the Aged Person, and we intend to organise events to publicise our campaign on this day. More information will be sent shortly.
Finally, can I thank those members who add a donation to their membership renewal. Our policy is that as long as our pensions are frozen, our membership fees will similarly be frozen. However, our costs are not frozen, and those extra dollars make a big difference to what we can do on your behalf.
1st June 2022