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Pensioners Debout! September/October 2016 Newsletter

by Brian Cave

1. ECREU – www.ecreu.com

The organisation of the ECREU campaign is under way. A small group of us have signed the necessary papers which under French Law enable it to be an official association.   ECREU has over 3,000 members at the moment -  There is a ‘steering committee’ of six people which includes members from Berlin to Spain.

In future I will tend to send fewer mails as from ‘Pensioners Debout’.

Material sent to ECREU members may well duplicate some of this – The ECREU lists are longer than mine.

It is wise to join ECREU  to be kept informed. There is no member’s fee.  And please encourage others to join.

ECREU has welcomed contact with the organisation called ‘3 Million.org’ which is set up by the EU nationals living in the UK who are equally concerned about Brexit.

ECREU’s concern is the well-being of the British citizens across the EU States, but clearly the reverse case of the EU nationals in the UK is a parallel concern.  Whether Brexit eventually comes about or not, these concerns remain.

The only political party whose strong policy is to retain close bonds inside the EU is the Liberal Democrat Party.  Their information is viewable here http://uklibdems.eu/en/

There is no available information of a similar kind from other parties.

Meanwhile the campaign for Votes-For-Life continues. [www.votes-for-life.com]

This campaign was initiated by the Conservative Party in France. It is the Conservatives who promise the Votes-for Life.

In connection with that campaign, Harry Shindler (a life time supporter of the Labour Party ) writes as follows….

2. Report from Harry Shindler.

22 September  Harry had a mail from 10 Downing Street  and also from the EU Commission – Both concern ‘Votes for Life’

Downing Street (that is to say with the knowledge and blessing of Mrs May the PM) writes That a ‘Votes-for-Life Bill will be enacted in time for the next scheduled general election’  That is in time for 2020.  Harry is replying to Mrs May to the effect– why not now?

The same day he had a many paged message from the EU Commission.  This has not been seen by me; Harry is forwarding photocopies.  However, I understand that the EU will produce a ‘citizen’s charter’ this autumn which requests that all EU States should ensure that all their citizens throughout the EU will be able to vote in General elections to their National Governments.  That will also include any future referenda.

3. ITEM of the Moment 

Contacting politicians & the Conservative Party Conference

As is the main objective of ECREU – We must try to ensure that Politicians at Westminster are on our side.  Getting politicians to read any messages from citizens who have no vote is most difficult.

Ecreu committee members have written to all 42 MPs who signed the Early Day Motion EDM 259.

To view the names of these 42 go to —-

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/259

There were in this list 1 Conservative, 21 Labour, 5 Lib-Dems, 1 Green, 2 Independents, 11 SNP, and 1 Plaid Cymru.

This EDM concerns STATUS OF BRITISH CITIZENS RESIDENT IN THE EU AND EU CITIZENS RESIDENT IN THE UK

The following peers have also been contacted Lexden (C) – Tyler (LD) & Kinnock (L)

& also these extra MPs.  Sir Roger Gale (C), , Barry Sheerman (L), Chris Bryant (L), Tom Sheppard (SNP),  Oliver Letwin (C).

We have the following replies

From Tom Brake MP (LibDem) — I will look forward to working with you on the issue of UK citizens in other EU countries.   I was very interested to see the statistics you have collated.

From Lord Paul Tyler (LibDem) – I was delighted to hear from you, and very much appreciate all your timely advice and comprehensive data on this issue………(he continues on the subject of the vote)  ….Put yourself in the shoes of the individual Constituency MP;  faced with the problems, concerns and special interests of some 75,000 constituents on his or her doorstep how many will give appropriate attention to a few dozen potential voters, with perhaps very different interests, living many hundreds of miles away ?    I had 87,000 eligible electors in my North Cornwall constituency:  l have to confess that I was never even aware of the number of expatriates registered on our electoral roll.  This is why the Commons will be reluctant to simply remove the 15 year limit.

From Oliver Letwin MP (cons) —I am convinced that the Government will focus heavily on the situation of ex-pat UK citizens living in the EU as part of the Brexit negotiations……   So, …I will certainly speak up if there is any sign of UK citizens in the EU being disadvantaged as a result of Brexit.

Members of the Conservative Party are being lobbied as the Conservative Party Conference begins.  Those who can make contact with a Conservative MP could help. If you want an idea of a draft mail please contact me.

YOU can contact MPs or Peers by finding their email addresses in the link below..

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

 

4.  The Winter Fuel payment.

You may have not seen this document composed by Roger Boaden

http://www.winterfuelpayment.info/

It is self explanatory.

************************************

Who are the expatriates affected? (both EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU)

A categorisation.

1.  Those who are established in the EU country in which they live, for example, working as employees or established under freedom of establishment rules as self-employed or employed professionals, (currently) benefiting from mutual recognition of qualifications under EU law.  These people are integrated into the local community, but do not hold the citizenship of the resident State, given that they have a right of free movement.  They pay local and national taxes in their country of residence, use the local health services and their children have been brought up in that country, although this will not necessarily guarantee that those children have a right to dual nationality.  In their every day lives, they are not dependent on the UK but they are dependent on their EU citizenship rights deriving from the UK’s membership of the EU e.g. free movement of workers, freedom of establishment, mutual recognition of qualifications.  They also have no voting rights in national elections in their country of residence and thus can only participate in the democratic process at national level in the UK.

[In reverse such is the situation of the vast majority of EU citizens resident in the UK. e.g EU nurses in the NHS]

2/. Those who work in more than one country, or have worked in a series of EU/other countries during their international career.

The former category may live in one country and perhaps work in that country and another: e.g. living and working between Paris and Brussels.  These people currently benefit from the principle of free movement of workers and there are special social security rules at EU level covering cross-border workers.

The position of those who have lived and worked in multiple countries is similar to category 1 but they have not stayed long term in any one country.  They are even more reliant on the rights of free movement, freedom of establishment and mutual recognition of qualifications they enjoy as EU citizens, and which derive from the UK’s membership of the EU, which have allowed them to work in a series of different EU countries.  They will have paid into the social security and health systems of each country and will have multiple national pension claims to make on retirement.  Their children will have grown up in several different countries, speaking different languages and experiencing different school systems but are less likely to have acquired citizenship rights in any of those countries than the children of those in category 1. As Category1, in their daily lives, they are not dependent on the UK but they are dependent on their EU citizenship rights deriving from the UK’s membership of the EU.  As is the case as regards Category 1,

3.  Those who are retired and depend on the implementation of Regulation 883/2004 (on co-ordination of Social Security in he EU). They are hugely dependent on their National State for their health care support and pensions income. This category is greatest for the retired British Citizens in the EU, who number more than 400,000.

In reverse the number of retired citizens receiving pensions from other EU States living in the UK is very small. As an example there are 69,000 retired British citizens receiving the UK State pension residing in France and less than 100 French retired Citizens receiving a French state pension residing in the UK. This is more extreme for Spain which has 108,000 UK State pensioners.

They have no voting rights in national elections in their country of residence and thus can only participate in the democratic process at national level in the UK. But after 15 years they have no voting rights at all at any National level.

All categories prior to a Brexit can vote in the local elections where they are resident. This applies of course also to EU nationals in the UK. But those in almost all instances have a vote and representation in their own National Government.

4.  Future generations especially of students, others, and the retired who would follow in the footsteps of the categories above.

I acknowledge the help of other members of ECREU in compiling this.

 

Geocaching lining up for the walking season

Some of the background to Geocaching, a reason to walk . . .

On March 24, 2009, Jon Stanley (username: Moun10Bike) stood on 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle, WA. He snapped a selfie before walking into the nondescript office across the street. It was Jon’s first day at a new job.

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Jon’s first day at Geocaching HQ.

“I took a selfie — perhaps my first-ever — of me arriving at Groundspeak on my first day working here,” said Jon. “I was told I was employee #28.”

Jon had a long history with the game before joining the company behind Geocaching.com, now known as Geocaching HQ. He first met Founder Jeremy Irish in 2000. Over lunch, the two discussed software that Jon had provided for an early version of the website. “The community was small then and I was in the same geographic area,” Jon said. “So it was natural that we would end up getting together.”

Jeremy realized that Geocaching.com’s traffic would quickly outgrow the website he’d started as a hobby site. In 2000, he partnered with two co-workers, Elias Alvord and Bryan Roth, to start a new company. With the proceeds from selling 144 geocaching t-shirts, they began to scale the website to keep up with its growing audience. The three founders continued working at their day jobs while managing the website on the side.

Cathy Hornback (username: Prying Pandora) first met the founders when they spontaneously showed up at her Cache In, Trash Out® Event. “I almost peed my pants when they just showed up. No warning.”

HPIM2580

Today, Cathy wears multiple hats: player (she’s going on 15,000 finds), volunteer reviewer, and Community Volunteer Support Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. “We exist because one guy had a crazy idea to hide a bucket of trinkets for other people to find with their newly accurate GPS receivers. Then another guy (Jeremy) had the gumption to build a website to list them all,” said Cathy.

Cathy first met Jon in 2005 while looking for the same geocache. Five years later, she joined him as an employee at Geocaching HQ. “We exist because of our community’s engagement,” Cathy said. “Without them, there would be nothing.”

Jon and Cathy were welcomed on their first days at Geocaching HQ by another long-time geocacher, Annie Love (username: Love). “I still pinch myself daily that I get to work here,” Annie said. “Geocaching was my hobby before I started working here and it’s a dream to get to do something I love for work. Sure, I sit at a desk most of the time, but getting to help people with this game for work is pretty awesome.”

Annie joined Geocaching HQ on January 29, 2007. “My first job was to work as the receptionist at the front desk, answer phone calls and emails about the game of geocaching.”

When Annie started, there were a dozen or so employees and 353,685 active geocaches. Today, Geocaching HQ has 74 employees and the website lists nearly 3 million geocaches hidden all over the world.

Annie, now Partner Programs Manager, said, “We really listen to our community. We might not be able to make everything to perfection overnight, but we definitely hear the wants and needs of the community and apply that directly to what we work on.”

June 28 2007
A company photo taken in June 2007, shortly after Annie and Jenn started.

A few months later, Jenn Seva (username: MissJenn) joined Geocaching HQ as employee #17, having previously served as a Community Volunteer Reviewer. “I started as a player of the game in 2001. I’m lucky enough to have combined my hobby and my livelihood without ruining either one of them.”

Now Senior Manager of Tourism and Travel, Jenn said, “Geocaching HQ is different than most other companies because we are made up of employees who want to be here. We want to delight our community and encourage people to go play outside. I don’t feel like just an insignificant cog in a giant wheel.”

Jon, Cathy and Annie feel similarly. “You only need to talk to the founders or any employee to see that we are passionate about the game and keeping people engaged with a fun and rewarding pastime for years to come,” said Jon. “While we may seem to move slow, it is not because of a lack of desire to improve things, only that we are a lot smaller than people know. I see our purpose to be good custodians of the game and provide the tools and means for people to have and share these experiences and adventures.”

Company pic 2015 summer
A company photo taken last summer.

Sixteen years later, Geocaching HQ remains a strong, independent organization on a mission to enable adventure, exploration, and discovery. We are led by our original founders and we have no outside investors or influences who would maximize profits at the expense of the game.

Annie said, “The community creates the game. We want to create the best tools to play it.”

Flybe’s new routes from Manchester

flybe175Leading regional airline introduces Lyon and Chambery to its schedule

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, announced the start of its new year-round daily service to Lyon from Manchester Airport with one way fares from as low as £29.99 including taxes and charges. The airline has also confirmed it will be adding Chambery as a new destination to its Manchester 2016-17 Winter schedule. Flights are available for booking now at www.flybe.com.manchesterTaking just 1hr 45 minutes, customers from Manchester will have a direct link to the historic city of Lyon that is renowned as a World Heritage Site and thriving cultural centre. It is also conveniently positioned for onward travel to Switzerland or Italy with Geneva under two hours’ drive away and Turin just under four.

Chambery flights will operate from 20th December through to 19th March 2017. The destination is ideally positioned for not only French resorts but for Swiss and Italian skiing adventures with hundreds of ski resorts within easy reach of the popular French city.

SCHEDULE DETAILS OF NEW FLYBE ROUTE

MANCHESTER (MAN) TO LYON (LYS) 
Effective for travel from 1st August – 25th March 2017
Operates Daily
Mon-Sat
Dep MAN 1105  Arr LYS 1350   Dep LYS 1425  Arr MAN 1515
Sun
Dep MAN 1155  Arr LYS 1440   Dep LYS 1510  Arr MAN 1600

MANCHESTER (MAN) – CHAMBERY (CMF) SCHEDULE
Effective for travel on Tuesdays from 20th Dec to 8th Jan and Sundays from 3rd Jan to 19th March
Dep MAN 0800 Arr CMF 1100 CMF    Dep CMF 1145 Arr MAN 1245

Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer, Vincent Hodder, comments: “We are excited to be launching our new service to Lyon and as well as expanding our offering to our North West passengers.

lyon_skyline_gettyLyon is an appealing option for both business and leisure travellers with frequent daily flights that give customers the flexibility they need when arranging their travel plans. We’re also pleased to announce an expansion to our ski destinations with the addition of Chambery joining our Geneva and Toulouse routes.”

Stephen Turner, Commercial Director for Manchester Airport, adds: “We’re delighted to see the rhone-alpeslaunch of Flybe’s new daily service to Lyon and the addition to its winter schedule.  We’re confident both routes will prove hugely popular with the 22 million people in our catchment area. They’re perfect destinations for people looking for a summer city break or even to explore the slopes.”  

Congratulations to Susan Keefe, our book reviewer

Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farm wins at the Summer Indie Book Awards.

In August I was notified that my children’s book, Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farm, had been nominated in this year’s Summer Indie Book Awards in the Favourite Holiday Book category, by whom I still do not know. It was a great honour and so when I discovered, on the 11th September, that I had in fact won the category I was over the moon. The book, which is available in Paperback and Kindle format, now has a new cover which is FRONT COVER AWARD.jpg 3proudly emblazoned with the award winning badge.

People who know me, understand that I am passionate about animals, and always have been. There is a wonderful world out there and I can think of no better way to educate children in a fun way, about animals and wildlife, than to cuddle up with a good book full of pictures, and join Toby the Border Collie on his adventures. This is why my books were written, and from the fantastic reviews I have received, my message is coming through, which is the greatest reward possible for me.

This is just one of the reviews from the award winning book:

“In Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farms, we are reacquainted with Toby, an adorable Border Collie. Toby is beyond excited to have Connor and Mason (the grandchildren) come to visit Fantasy Farms. Along with Toby’s mom, they all experience one adventure after another exploring the beauty of nature at Fantasy Farms. The story will draw readers in from the very first page to the last. I was mesmerized by Ms. Keefe’s story and felt as if I was a part of the group’s grand adventures . The pictures that are shared in this book are vividly amazing. The author does a terrific job sharing in-depth details about the farm creatures shown in each picture. In this book, you will learn about animals, insects and nature in a fun and visual way.

I thoroughly enjoyed Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farms. It’s a story for all ages even though it’s classified as a children’s book. After all, who doesn’t adore a lovable border collie and a farm full of interesting animals, insects, and the beauty of nature? Fantasy Farms is a breathtaking place that I’d love to visit. In the meantime, I will absorb the beauty of it all through Ms. Keefe’s entertaining Toby Tails books.” DianeRoseDuffy

SUE & TOBY MASTER MOD with AWARDIf you would like more information about this book or any in the Toby’s Tails Fantasy Farm series you can find this book on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tobys-Tails-Easter-Fantasy-Tales/dp/1530399483/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 and if you click on the highlighted ‘Susan Keefe’ on the page you will see the rest of the series, all of which are available in English and some are also in French, and Spanish.

I would like to invite you to visit the book’s Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/TobysTailsChildrensBooks/

and visit the website http://www.tobys-tails.com

If you would like your book personalised with a message from the author please contact me on either of the above pages.

Susan Keefe

Award Winning Children’s Book Author

Your reading for October…

Cries of the Eagle 

by Michael E. Nathanson

Product Details

As a non-Muslim I found this a fascinating story, as it opens your eyes not only to a different religion, but also its beliefs and teachings, however this story is so much more, it is a powerful story of murder, betrayal, secrets and lies, which when uncovered expose horrendous truths…

Ali and Hajid, are a devout Muslim couple who left their homeland of Iran in the 1980’s to start a better life in America. They settled in Dearborn, Michigan, and soon after had a son Ibrahim. They worked hard at bringing him up in the faith, and live a good life in their Muslim community. As parents they were happy to watch him stand on his own two feet, and accept that he is naturally growing away from them as he moves to Texas as part of his Qu’ran studies. However, the friends and mentors Ibrahim chooses once there lead him down a dark path, one which shapes his destiny forever.

Through the ages it has become accepted that most religions have a fanatical side, radical groups with one aim only, to ensure that in time, their religion is the only one which survives. With the threat of terrorism and fear of racism so very much a part of our modern world, the author has skillfully weaved his magic to write this story. Although fictional, it is easy to see it being true, indeed as I write this there are horrors being committed in the name of religion every day.

Mostly we base our views on ‘hearsay’ or newspaper headlines, tarring everyone with the same brush, and in our fear persecuting the innocent. Fascinatingly, this book reveals how the lives of an ordinary family, devoutly following their Muslim faith, can become inextricably entwined with the fanatical counter elements of the religion they follow, without their knowledge.

However, this story is not just about Muslim beliefs, it is an intriguing, action packed thriller. As the storyline unfolds we follow the investigations of Special Agent Gerry Bolton and Agent Jan Hanson of the FBI, and soon discover that nothing is as it seems…

In my opinion this is an exceptional book, and a real eye-opener. Not only is it an absorbing story but it has given me a real insight into a world I knew nothing about. If I could give it 6 stars, I would!

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Available from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cries-Eagle-Michael-E-Nathanson-ebook/dp/B01BLSRQ4C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1474888185&sr=8-2&keywords=cries+of+the+eagle

 

Remember the Future 

by Bryant Delafosse

Bryant Delafosse

Grant Frederickson is a man destroyed, he has lost his beloved wife, and now is targeted by Houston gangster Arturo Torres, hounded for debts he cannot pay. With the world on his shoulders, and Rudy, Torres’ henchman watching him all the time, there is no escaping the corner he has got himself into, but what does he care, he has nothing to live for…

Then, just when he is at his lowest, resigned to his fate, a young woman called Maddy jumps into his car, and beseeches him for help. She is fleeing from pursuers who she calls ‘Blank Men,’ men who are determined to capture her.

Suddenly, his problems take a back seat as he finds himself protecting her. But who is this Maddy, this mysterious young woman with a hidden past and incredible abilities, and why are the Blank Men hunting her?

Soon he finds his life inextricably entwined with hers, and can’t help but ask himself more and more, was their meeting really coincidental, or was it destiny? As their flight leads them to New Orleans he wonders, will they find answers there?

I believe that this book will appeal to readers, like myself, who love a truly unique story, with plenty of twists, turns, and which keeps you guessing until the very last page.

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Available from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Remember-Future-Bryant-Delafosse-ebook/dp/B019HSKLGS/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1474888100&sr=8-5&keywords=remember+the+future

 

Dear Bob: The Misadventures of Petunia Pottersfield: Volume 1 

by T P Keane

This enchanting story begins on Petunia Pottersfield’s 11th Birthday. Petunia is a fairy who lives in Furrow Grove. She has a mass of unruly hair, and she’s writing in her diary who she calls Bob. Why Bob, why not? After all everything deserves a name, doesn’t it? Bob is very special to her because he is the place where she confides all her hopes and fears.

You see, Petunia is lonely, she doesn’t have many friends because she is very clumsy, and she doesn’t like school either. She has a kind heart, it’s just that things just don’t turn out as she intends them too…

Then things look up, she has a new friend Alisia, and the girls have great fun together, until they notice that something has gone terribly wrong with the inhabitants of Furrow Grove, they have changed…

At first, the girls manage to hide, but then disaster strikes and Alisia is caught.

Petunia is desperate, and eventually finds help, but will it be in time to save Alisia and the fairies of Furrow Grove?

Find out in this charming and exciting children’s adventure, from the author of The Paladins of Naretia.

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

Available from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dear-Bob-Misadventures-Petunia-Pottersfield-ebook/dp/B01L3479X2/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474888257&sr=8-1&keywords=tp+keane

 

Looking good in the Garden . . .

This week’s recommendations from Le Jardin Champetre

A late summer combination for colour, movement and wildlife in the garden. Blue flowers of Agastache foeniculum, seedheads of Agastache ‘Licorice White’, white flowers of Aster umbellatus with grasses Calamagrostis brachytricha and Miscanthus ‘Saturnia’ in the background.

P1360981

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both the Aster umbulatus and this Aster divaricatus are magnets for butterflies and bees during the later summer months.

P1360972

 

 

 

The 2016 harvest at Rives Blanques is well underway.

After a quick foray into the vines to hand-pick  grapes for our sparkling wines last week, the harvest went into full swing today, as we machine harvested our Pays d’Oc.  On Monday we will continue hand-picking the grapes for our white Limoux wines – and continue doing so, hopefully, until the end.  This is two to three weeks later than last year, when we had already finished harvesting by this date.

mauzacCepie-300x300It has been an extremely interesting run-up to the vintage this year: we had an unseasonably warm winter, a cool spring, and a summer so hot it was reminiscent of 2003.  We also experienced the latest veraison (when the grapes begin their ripening process) in our history.  Drought has been a major issue  throughout the region generally, this year, while some parts of the Languedoc were even devastated by hail on the eve of their harvest.

At Rives-Blanques we have been saved by our high altitude micro-climate, and by our  old vines whose deep roots search out ground water.  As the harvest opened, the vines were showing almost no sign of a lack of water, and the grapes were generally plentiful and all in perfect condition.  12 mm of rain on the eve of our harvest made a positive contribution, and again we were lucky: more at this point would have been bad news.  It was the Goldilocks factor: just right.

You can follow our harvest on our Diary of a Vineyard.

Saturday September 17

A celebration for Occitania . . .

Mrs Robinson also reviewed all Rives Blanques’ new releases this month, those tasting notes can be found here.

jrwineweek-copie

October’s gardening courses in the Languedoc

Introduction to gardening in the Languedoc – coping with the climate

Thursday 13th October, 10am to 4pm

A course which is aimed at those relatively new to gardening in the Languedoc.  The aim is to provide information and promote discussion in a relaxed and informal atmosphere which will help those interested in creating interesting, easy to maintain and colourful ornamental gardens in our summer dry climate.  We will consider the nature of the local climate, the physical problems associated with gardening here (heat, drought, cold, wind, soil) and how to cope with these varied problems particularly dealing with drought and thinking about “waterwise” gardening; recognising plants which are appropriate to this climate; buying plants; planting techniques and maintenance.  The programme will include a guided tour of the garden here to illustrate points made.  (NB  This course  is an abridged form of a similar programme which was formerly offered over two days.)

Aromatics for Languedoc gardens

Thursday 20th October, 10am to 4pm

A course which is for gardeners and foodies alike.  We will consider a range of over forty common and more unusual aromatics (herbs and spices) which we can grow in our gardens, this will include Mediterranean and southern European perennials & shrubs, other hardy perennials, annuals & biennials and a few half hardy plants.    We’ll look at how to identify plants (mostly from actual plant material here), how to propagate and grow them, how to harvest and use them as well as thinking about how to incorporate aromatics in ornamental gardens and using them as companion plants.

Fee for each course: 50 euros, including teas & coffees.  We ask you to bring a packed lunch.

Gill Pound
Le Jardin de la Petite Pépinière de Caunes
21, av de la Montagne Noire,
11160 Caunes-Minervois
04 68 78 43 81
www.lapetitepepiniere.com

 

Both courses are designed for a group of between eight and twelve people to allow plenty of time to discuss individual issues and problems.  For more information or to book a place please phone 04 68 78 43 81 or email Gill@lapetitepepiniere.com

 

Brexit – Tax reliefs for relocating to France

by David Anderson 

This article is for general information only. French law is a highly specialised area and you should only act or refrain from acting after receiving full professional advice on the facts of your particular case. This article is for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Always consult an IFA.

The French government has announced further favourable tax concessions to attract bankers and other high earners to Paris. One of the main tax relief provisions is in Article 155B of the French tax code which is to be extended.

The French government has said following the Brexit vote they want to make France the most fiscally attractive place in Europe for expatriates to relocate to. Although clearly aimed at large corporates the attractive tax exemptions can equally be used by the smaller businessman and entrepreneur considering a relocation or eventual retirement in France.

Who can benefit?

In order to benefit from the tax break you must:

  • not have been a French tax resident in the 5 years preceding your arrival in France;
  • become a French resident when you take up your employment in France; and
  • be employed by a company established in France.

Your nationality is, in all cases, irrelevant.

What are the exemptions? 

The exemptions extend to your income from:

  • your French employment; and
  • your investment income from a non-French source.

Employment income exemption

  • The exemption is on any additional payment (premium) payable because of the work in France. This needs to be on the actual amount which should be specified in the employment contract or a forfeit amount of 30% of the net remuneration. It extends to relocation and housing costs, social security costs and motor car costs. Your basic salary must be at a comparable level to French employees in the same company or similar companies in France.
  • Remuneration for work carried on outside France is exempt. This must be carried out solely for the benefit of the company.
  • The maximum exemption for work both in France and outside France is 50% of your total remuneration.
  • Alternatively you can elect to have your foreign earned income limited to a maximum of 20% of your total income excluding your premium payment.

Investment income exemption

There is a 50% income tax exemption for income from shares and bank and other deposits and intellectual property rights. There is a similar 50% exemption for capital gains tax. The payments (i.e. source) must be made by an entity outside France in a country with a tax treaty with France.

How long do they last for?

Currently up to 31st December in the fifth calendar year following the date you take up your position in France.  The French government has recently announced it will be extended to 8 years.

Wealth Tax

There is an exemption from French Wealth Tax on assets situated outside France. This is for 5 years though it is not yet clear whether this will also be extended to 8 years as above.

Other restrictions

The exemption does not apply to individuals who come to work in France “on their own initiative”. The offer of employment must be made whilst the taxpayer is resident outside France. The taxpayer must show his “real” residency was outside France at that time.

Entrepreneurs

This exemption is aimed at attracting people to work for large corporations and banks in Paris. It does however seem possible it could be used by the smaller entrepreneur. The first step would be to establish a corporate vehicle in France taking care not to become a French resident in the process. The French company should commence a business venture and shortly after this make a formal offer of employment to the entrepreneur. The exemptions available should apply equally to the smaller business person which could make this an attractive option for a UK business person relocating to France.

If for instance you have a UK company which continues to trade in the UK, income from dividends paid to a French resident by a UK company are exempt from UK tax and under the French rules will be exempt from French tax for 8 years.

This kind of scenario requires careful consideration. In particular you will need to avoid the pitfall of the UK Company’s residence moving to France.

It also seems likely that pension income taken during the 8 year period will be exempt from tax in the UK if you are not UK resident and also in France under this exemption. This could be helpful for UK individuals over 55 who wish to take their pensions early whilst working in France.

Comparison with the UK’s resident non-domiciled tax status

This tax relief is very similar to the UK’s resident non domiciled tax status. The main comparisons which can be made are as follows:-

  • You do not have to decide whether you are “non-domiciled” which can be problematic in the UK if you have pre-existing connections with the UK. The French system is much simpler as it only depends on being non-French resident for 5 years before you come to France. In this respect it is much simpler for French nationals moving back to France.
  • There is no restriction on remitting money to France. You can remit all investment money into France tax free with no restrictions. In the UK there are restrictions on remitting such money into the UK.
  • It only lasts for 8 tax years whereas in the UK it is more open ended; although in the UK you have to pay an annual “forfeit” tax of £30,000 after 7 years to maintain the non-domiciled status.
  • It is simpler to get the tax exemption for work carried on outside France.
  • The Inheritance Tax position is different though with correct advice similar results should be obtained in both UK and France.

Summary

These provisions will be of particular interest to French nationals resident in London considering a return to France because of Brexit. High earning individuals who have international careers will receive significant tax breaks especially if they are coming to the end of their working life with 8 or fewer years to go. It will also be a useful option for UK resident non-domiciled people who wish to establish a “break” in their UK residency for non-domiciled reasons.

The smaller businessman who intends to retire to France could also use this exemption, possibly towards the end of his career. Housing and other removal costs to France could be mainly paid for out of untaxed income.

September 2016

Sykes Anderson Perry Limited Solicitors London

www.saplaw.co.uk  + 44 203 794 5959

david.anderson@saplaw.co.uk

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