Tuesday, March 22, 2005

EU confirms Spanish Pensions probe

The European Commission has written a letter to the UK authorities on the question of the claim made by Spanish pensioners for increments and in relation to the Housing Cost Allowance, an EU spokesman confirmed last night.

The UK authorities are now requested to react within two months.

The Commission, which sent the letter out last week, said it would not comment further.

However, Juan Carlos Juarez, the La Linea Mayor yesterday issued a statement claiming that Britain was being told to change the existing legislation and to provide compensation for lost re-evaluation.

Sr Juarez claimed that the Commission is basing its action on discrimination because of residence and nationality. He praised ALPEG the pensioners association and argued that the loss since 1989 when they were frozen could amount to as much as 50% of current payments. It is argued that the Housing Cost Allowance is discriminatory because it requires residence for payment. This contradicts previous findings of the Commission.

The Spanish pensions issue is one of the matters that has been discussed in the ongoing tripartite talks where it was raised by the Spanish side.

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