John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Thursday, December 08, 2005
  Habitual Residence Test
I have asked a few questions about this. They relate to someone who moved from Acocks Green to Thailand on retirement. He had worked as a bus driver for about 35-40 years and retired to Thailand.

He would like to return, but his pension is not enough to live on. He cannot however, get any support from the government regardless of the fact that he has paid uk tax for decades.
 
Comments:
This test was introduced to stop benefit tourism, ie people from EU counties who came to the UK and were able to claim benefits without ever working in the UK.
Many will await the answers to your questions with great interest.
 
I know why it came in, but there remains the principle of the individual's contract with the state.

I think that is one of the key issues. It actually fits in with the rights and responsibilities agenda.
 
John,I am sure you know why the test was introduced but others need reminding.
A lot of British people working abroad continue to pay NI contributions.
The man's pension is of course frozen at the level of when he left the UK.
The government is very old Labour on this one. As one Labour Party headquarter worker said back in the 1980s "none of our members can afford to live abroad".
The ex-bus driver may be enjoying the Thai sunshine for some time to come.
 
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