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Overseas Veterans: State Pensions

Volume 685: debated on Monday 7 December 2020

What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of frozen state pensions on veterans living overseas. (909796)

The Government have no plans to change their policy on overseas pensions uprating. It is long-standing Government policy that the state pension is not uprated annually for those not resident in the United Kingdom unless the pensioner resides in a country with which there is a reciprocal social security agreement requiring that uprating.

The Minister prides himself on standing up for veterans, so it is surprising to hear him say, as he just has, that he is not going to do anything for the estimated 60,000 veterans who have their pensions frozen, many of whom are living in poverty and relying on family handouts. These are pensioners such as world war two veteran Anne Puckridge, who, instead of receiving £134 a week, receives a mere £72 a week. When is the Minister going to stand up for veterans, as he should be doing as the Minister for veterans?

I will not take any lessons from the hon. Lady on standing up for veterans. State pensions are the responsibility of the Department for Work and Pensions, and she is well aware of that fact. This arrangement has been conducted by successive Governments for over 70 years, and questions about the policy should be directed to the Department for Work and Pensions.