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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 132

Date:- 03 January 200

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Letter to Editor:- EXPATRIATE VICTIMS OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Dear Southport Reporter,

"IT is estimated that more than one million Britons have retired abroad of which 650,000 have settled on Spain's Mediterranean coasts, with France being second choice and the Republic of Ireland taking up third place. One of the attractions of retiring abroad, apart from the weather, is Spain's superior health service. As this is free of charge to British expatriates anyway there is little incentive for them to return and seek treatment in England even when they don't have to pay.

The new rules banning British expatriates from receiving free health care on Britain's National Health Service is not expected to cause undue concern on the Spanish Costas. Those effected will mostly be the retired who rarely return to the United Kingdom anyway.

I didn't expect the Government's decision to effect sales of properties abroad. Last year when the idea was first mooted. The National Association of Developers and Foreign Residents in Spain announced that investment in Spanish property had increased by 30 per cent.

But it just seems a little unfair that Britons who have worked and have contributed to the National Health Service are denied a return on their health investment. They will be lumped together with real foreigners who have never paid a penny into the system." 


Michael McLaughlin of Kensington-based Southern Comfit Properties Abroad.

If you have any views on this and other matters, email our editor at patrick@pcbtphotography.co.uk  

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RAC'S 'END OF TERM' TRANSPORT REPORT SHOWS IMPROVING PICTURE FOR UK'S 28 MILLION MOTORISTS

67% OF motorists believe Government should do more to improve road transport as 2003 came to a close. The UK's 28 million motorists have experienced a huge number of new initiatives and pieces of motoring related legislation in 2003, some of which have started to have an impact on our daily experiences behind the wheel. Motoring organisation RAC has assessed some of the major initiatives to determine whether or not the road transport picture has improved during 2003.

The good news is that overall RAC's assessment is positive for the UK's motorists, despite the fact that they are often portrayed as "beleaguered" and "overly taxed". The bad news is that the critical problem of chronic congestion was not been addressed in any palpable way during 2003, and that any policies dealing with it have yet to bear real fruit. 

RAC spokesperson Rebecca Bell said:- "The UK's motorists have taken some financial pain in 2003 with an increase in fuel duty and a new dawn breaking with road user charging. Overall though, many of the Government led initiatives must be viewed individually separately as promising.

The main problem remains, though, that our motorists are the highest taxed in Europe and yet suffer the longest journey times, particularly while commuting. The failure of the 10 year plan to address congestion and achieve success where radical improvements are needed means that many motorists would mark the Government's performance on transport in 2003 with a resounding "Must do better in 2004!""

Down Load Report CLICK HERE  (Report is a Microsoft Word Doc  64.5 KB)

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Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.