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British pensioners living abroad for more than half the year are to be denied free Health Service treatment.Such ex-patriates will now have to pay for NHS care back in Britain no matter how much they have contributed in tax and National Insurance over the years.
Although ex-patriates stand to lose out, the move is largely a response to abuse of the Health Service by asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.The influential think-tank warned that some 'health tourists' have even run up bills for treatment of £50,000 which the taxpayer is left to shoulder.The total cost of HIV treatment and care in 2001 was £165million but last year it soared to £ 345million.YOUNG people from across three local authorities have come together to help pensioners in need this Christmas.Over one hundred food hampers were created and delivered by the Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) as part of their Pressies for Penshies project.The latest example of how outdated processes are leaving taxpayers short-changed has actually existed for more than two years.
When the “pension freedom” reforms were introduced in April 2015 they ended the effective compulsion to buy an annuity, a contract that pays income for life.
As well as offering food and company to the elderly, the teams from Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire, passed on information about bogus callers and doorstep crime.
The PSYV programme aims to strengthen relationships between the police and young people, to help break down barriers and promote positive role models, while helping them to understand policing and support officers.
Constable Shanks said: “The aim of this project was to assist our older generation by offering support and friendship.
“The volunteers were also able to pass on information and advice, regarding bogus callers and doorstep crime and with officers working alongside, local authorities Community Safety and Trading Standards departments, we were able to provide crime prevention advice and crime prevention leaflets in the hampers.” Chief Inspector Patrick Murphy, Partnerships, added: “I am incredibly grateful for the work our coordinators and our youth volunteers have done during the festive period to support elderly residents in our communities.
"It will also force them into making choices about whether they have treatment in Spain - which ironically would be free under European Union law - or come back home to their family and be forced to pay."Up to 500,000 British pensioners are thought to live in other EU states.