British pensioners living in Spain have accused the government of “discrimination” because their pensions are being judged on where they live and not their needs. “As soon as you leave Dover your pension effectively falls, in some cases by 50 percent,” said Peter Brookes, of the Southern Branch of the British Legion on the mainland. All sorts of benefits are paid to pensioners in Britain but their counterparts abroad are not eligible because they have elected to move to a country which may be in the European Union but it is outside the United Kingdom. Judy Arnold-Boakes, of Age Concern, said “you can vote in British elections for your MP, but you are not entitled to other benefits.” Age Concern have joined forces with the Royal British Legion and they are trying to get the government to pay the attendance allowance, which is basically a supplementary benefit to pay for a carer. While a pensioner living in Spain may have to survive on just 70 pounds a week those back in Britain are receiving, in some cases, at least 150 pounds or even more. The British government is aware of the problem, thanks to lobbying from both Age Concern and the British Legion, but so far they have done nothing to change the legislation. The Social Services in Britain say that the “host country” in this case Spain should be “topping-up” British pensions through their own social service supplementary benefits. But the Spanish pension system is different to Britain's and some of the payments which British pensioners are eligible to if they lived in the United Kingdom, do not exist in Spain. Presently the Royal British Legion has to expatriate a number of pensioners every year. But there may be good news on the horizon. The new bill of rights may give British pensioners a case and the government has unofficially said that they will look into their claims but there is not enough time left in this parliament to put a bill through or table a motion. Unofficial groups caring for the well-being of OAPs in Spain believe that they have a case to take to the European Court. There are a number of retired Civil Servants living in Spain and eventhough they pay their taxes in Britain, they are still not entitled to other benefits apart from their state pension and Christmas bonus.

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