1st December 2013
December already. Below zero. And not just the weather. Tensions between British expats in the EU and the mother country are chillier by the minute. Lately there's been conflict over the freezing of the so-called 'winter fuel payment'. The crux of the matter: this payment is part of the old-age pension and, as such, cannot be deleted on a whim. War veterans like 90+ year old Harry Shindler in Italy are courageously mounting their own personal crusade. You see: it's not the amount; it's the principle that what you've paid for you should get. But now it looks like there is even more artillery being mounted by the anti-EU brigade in the UK. NHS costs are ever-rising against the insidious slide of services. Fundamental really. Bevan's original, wonderful concept of free health care for all simply can't cope with the current overburdened population size.So, how to claw back costs? It's proposed to pay EU states less for expat health care, meaning we must in future return to the UK for non-urgent 'elective' care. So, who's going to pay our travel and accommodation costs for this? For pessimists like me, things couldn't get worse could they? Oh no, there's that awful Marine Le Pen from Le Front National on the cusp of winning great gains in France in the Spring. Him indoors: time to hit the bottle.