Spare a Thought for Expat Pensioners
Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 18th August, 2016
The collapse of the pound sterling in the wake of the Brexit vote was widely predicted, but the ramifications are only just beginning to sink in. London’s tourist trade is enjoying a boom and so should British exports. But soon consumers in the UK will start feeling the reality of higher prices as we import so much of our food and other products. Families heading for the Continent this summer are finding everything much more expensive, with the pound now almost on a par with the euro. But spare a thought for the many British pensioners who decided to move to a warmer climate in countries such as Spain, Portugal or Greece on retirement. They have been used to getting by on a regular pension income but when converted into euros now it is worth nowhere near as much, causing real hardship. It’s a pity more British expats did not register to vote in the Referendum; any who have been abroad for less than 15 years were entitled to do so. Presumably most who did register voted for Remain, but whichever way they voted all but the most wealthy will now be beginning to feel the pinch. Moreover their long-term future on the Continent cannot be guaranteed unless a Brexit deal offers some sort of reciprocal arrangement for EU migrants — or even better, if the UK government or parliament decides that proceeding with Brexit is not in people’s best interests.