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bp i a Chairman’s Annual Report 2007/8. Annual Report 2007/8. BPiA’s mission remains dedicated to achieve UK age pension parity worldwide . Our Strategies to achieve this aim include;- Continue to pursue the UK Government in a legal case in the ECHR.
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Annual Report 2007/8 • BPiA’s mission remains dedicated to achieve UK age pension parity worldwide. • Our Strategies to achieve this aim include;- • Continue to pursue the UK Government in a legal case in the ECHR. • Build up our membership to accumulate funds. • Lobby politicians in both the UK and Australia with reasons to support our ECHR legal case. • Lobby Federal Govt, together with Canada to take this issue to next CHOGM • Seek support from seniors’ and pensioner organisations here and in the UK. • Support the International Consortium of expat pensioners
1 Building BPiA membership • Encourage members to encourage friends and family to join. • Encourage and solicit articles or letters to be published in National and local papers, Senior’s magazines, Union newsletters. • Attract those approaching pension age with offers of help to achieve and boost their UK pension. • Attend fairs and British events with a stall.
BPiA membership grew by 14.7% • 6/20076/2008 • NSW 3258 3675 • ACT 190 219 • NT 11 17 • QLD 945 1106 • SA 540 627 • Tas 217 259 • Vic 971 1175 • WA 1233 1378 • O’seas 58 58 • TOTALS 74238514
2 Political activities • Approach all local Federal members for their understanding and support in Canberra. • Lobby Federal Minister to take a multi-lateral International approach to resolving the issue. • Encourage our PM to take the issue to next CHOGM. • Approach past local UK MPs for support of our “Westminster” Early Day Motions. • Sign petitions at UK Parliament website. • Lobby directly with UK MPs, in London to introduce a Private members bill to address our cause. • Encourage all Federal MPs etc to take the issue to any UK MP with whom they meet
3 Seniors and Pensioners’ Support • Lobby organisations for lecture time /magazine space;- • 1 National Seniors • 2 Australian Independent Retirees • 3 Probus • 4 University of the Third Age • 5 Combined Pensioners and Superannuants in NSW. • Lobby organisations in the UK, • 1 Help the Aged • 2 Age Concern. • 3 National Pensioners’ Convention.
4 Support International Consortium • 5 Member organisations totalling more than 35,000 members;- • Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners • British Pensions in Australia • British Pensioners Assoc’ of Western Canada. • South African Alliance of British Pensioners • British Australian Pensioners Association
ECHR Hearing • Carson and others v The UK Government. • Engaged London Barristers, Tim Otty of 20 Essex St Chambers, London EC. • Assisting Tim is Australian Ben Olbourne. • Briefing and controlling Lawyer is Phillip Tunley, Toronto. • Case has been accepted by ECHR and a 6-1 adverse judgment was handed down Nov 4th. 2008 • Judgment was delayed by a discrimination/tax policy case Burden and Burden v The UK Govt.
Other BPIA activities  • Helping members achieve a UK pension • Hundreds of our members have achieved pensions they might otherwise have been denied without our guidance. • Dozens of members have achieved a UK pension previously denied them, several years ago. [DNE project] • Many of these have received significant lump sum back payments. • Many members now benefit by new DNE project. • Some members have received indexing of private pension components. [GMP issue]
Other BPiA Activities  • Many expats and Aussies who are approaching pension age are being helped with their UK pension claims. • Dozens of members have been helped to have their pensions indexed and reduce their travel costs when visiting indexed countries overseas. • Several members have been assisted to reduce their Aussie tax costs, • Many more potential members are being helped understand the new UK pension rules to be introduced in 2010.
Finally • Thanks are due to all the committee, especially Ed Wilson our Membership Secretary • Tony Jackson who took over when Ed had 2 eye operations; Tony also provides data management back-up and has a keen eye when it comes to proof reading our publications; • David Rumball with his computer skills and Brian Leggett with his business nouse and Pat Redlich. • Barbara Wiggin for her help with committee’s secretarial work and for providing excellent BPiA promotion in the Northern Beaches area. • To all our interstate coordinators for their magnificent efforts, and Keith Salt for auditing of the books.
and;- • And of course thanks to all the members who renewed their subs, many of whom have made magnificent donations in recognition of the hard work we have achieved to build the original 9 founder members to the nearly 9000 we total today. • And of course we cannot forget the wives of the committee who have had to put-up with their husbands spending so much time on an activity with which they must wonder; when will we see a positive outcome? Not too far away we hope.
European Courtof Human Rights Carson & others V The UK Government Case 42184/05
ECHR Case • Case lodged November 2005 • Delayed because of an appeal for a similar ECHR case incorporating discrimination, the Burden, Burden case. • Burden case appeal finalised at end April 2008 after 7 months. • September our barristers requested our case to be dealt with ASAP
ECHR Case • Late October ECHR advised us that Carson judgment made and will be available on November 4th. • Judgment holds that “no violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Protocol 1 on the facts of the present case” • Even if the applicants could be said to be in an analogous position to those resident in uprated countries, the Court considers the difference of treatment has objective and reasonable justification.
ECHR Case • It is relevant that the State took steps to inform UK residents moving abroad about the absence of indexed linked pensions in certain specified countries. • There are 2 words included in the judgment which may be of use to us in our appeal • The Court is hesitant to find an analogy between the position of applicants who live in frozen countries and British residents in countries where uprating is available.
ECHR Case 2. The Court finds it difficult to compare respective [economic] positions of residents in States in close proximity; e.g. the USA [uprated] and Canada [frozen], because of differences in tax, social security provisions, rates of interest, currency exchange and inflation.
ECHR Case • However the Court President Lech Garlicki in regards to economic differences, makes the important point that there is a common feature in all countries and that feature is inflation, the UK Government cannot simply ignore inflation as a common economic characteristic in the modern world. • In my view this issue of “economic differences” introduced to the argument, is a muddying of the waters, which is of less relevance than the issue of inflation, as Lech Garlicki implies.
ECHR Case • Garlicki continues;- • While the issue is more legislative [political] then judicial in the UK, this approach while convincing at the domestic [UK] level cannotprevail in “our Court”. A violation which results from legislative omissions is still within the reach of European supervision
ECHR Case • Garlicki also opines about Annette Carson • The UK treats her differently from other pensioners because of her new place of residence. While she no longer pays UK tax there are no prohibitions under our [European] convention, on imposing a tax on her UK based income. But unlike those who have remained in the UK [and in indexed countries] she has been deprived of the index linking privilege. • Moreover by not living in the UK she does not incur any additional cost for the State • In fact [my words] she saves the UK providing for health care.
ECHR Case • Having regards to Lech Garlicki’s dissenting judgment, which is in accord with the case we presented. The Consortium has decidedto request the ECHR to accept an appeal so that our barristers can, this time, make an oral presentation to the Grand Chamber of 17 judges, only 2 of whom made the original judgment, Lech Garlicki, and Nicolas Bratza the UK judge.
ECHR Case • Our barristers contend;- • With regards to Article 14 with Article 1, Protocol 1 our case had 6 stages, the first 4 of which were accepted, for the 5th they expressed no final view and found against us only for the 6th on the grounds, “ objective and reasonable justification”. • With regards to our situation being analogous to UKresidents; the judgment approach was inappropriate and materially incomplete in at least 2 respects, one being “muddying the waters” between social security and pension benefits, the other relating to payment of pensions to others abroad from the UK.
ECHR Case • With regards to an objective and reasonable justification, [decisive reason for our failure];- The Court’s reasoning in this regards was flawed for 7 reasons, including;- 1, Prior advice of non indexing 2, Non British may not return to the UK 3, Desire to live with young family 4, Fettering freedom of movement 5, UK’s approach is unique and contrary to all other countries which pay pensions to their nationals resident abroad, also it’s not logical
ECHR Case • Objective and reasonable justification [cont] 6, UK claim that equal pensions [indexing] are unacceptable on basis of £450M cost; “other higher Constitutional Courts have expressly rejected any such approach. 7, Two authorities referred to by the Chamber, in the opinion of our barristers are “not only dispositive of issues raised against us but support our position ,
ECHR Case • Hence the unanimous decision to seek referral of our case to the Grand Chamber of 17 judges including the Court President Lech Garlicki and the UK judge, Nicolas Bratza. • An oral hearing is desired this time • A time frame of about 18 months to final judgment is anticipated.