Expats out of pocket after Government cuts their benefits

Hundreds of British expatriates have been left out of pocket because the Government is refusing to pay them disability benefits.

by Patrick Sawer
Telegraph [UK]
9 January 2010

The European Commission is now taking ministers to court over their decision to deny the benefits to British citizens living on the continent.

Campaigners say the withdrawal of the Disability Living Allowance to Britons living overseas has left many struggling to cope on severely reduced incomes…

…Roger Gale, the Conservative MP, who is fighting on behalf of an estimated 2,000 expats thought to have been stripped of the disability benefits, said: “These are people who have paid UK taxes all their lives and it is outrageous that they should now be denied the benefits they need and deserve, just because they have chosen to live in Spain or France.”

A statement from Brussels said: “The European Commission has decided to take legal action against the United Kingdom for not paying certain benefits to EU citizens residing abroad.

“Under EU rules, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance are considered ‘sickness cash benefits’, meaning people covered by the UK system residing in another EU country are also entitled to receive them.”…

…It is estimated it would cost British taxpayers at least £4.6 million a year to begin paying the 2,000 beneficiaries…

The article continues at the Telegraph.

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