Falklands Veteran in Benefits fiasco

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Padre, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. Don't know whether this has appeared anywhere but walked in last night to catch BBC item on a man, who that claimed was a Falklands Veteran. He was born to british parents in Zambia and returned home with them to Britain at the age of one. He joined the British Army and apart for operational tours, etc. has lived in Britain ever since. The fact is that the government say that he's not British and therefore, as he's now unemployed, cannot receive benefits!

    To rub salt into the wound, the governament say he can apply for naturalisation at a cost of £600+.

    What a disgrace and how very, very silly (polite aren't I?).

    Considering the fact that we have a government that pays criminals Job Seeker's Allowance whilst they are doing time in prison, gives benefits to illegally present people and dishes out cash to many others that have no right to it I am astounded.

    Having served his country only to be turned away in this manner is yet another facet of a shoddy administration. I have to admit that even I (cynic that I am) was suprised by this one.

  2. Padre,

    Won't dispute the disgraceful treatment of any serviceman/woman by this particular govt but would question the reference to his being a "Falklands veteran". If he was born in 1969 he would only have been 12 or 13yo in 1982...

  3. Thanks for pointing out my error in the original post. I have changed content to rectify this. (Need brain and glasses :)

    I do find it strange that after devoting five minutes to the news item last night there is nothing in any papers or on the BBC website.

  4. No worries - must be something in the water today. Have just had to point out to a Director in a top 4 accounting firm that "122 + 88 does not equal 200" 8O

  5. Not sure about the last bit. '122 + 88 = 200'. Assuming the person you're speaking of is an FCA I would have been impressed with the result as I've never found one that accurate before!

    I have been told numerous times that if you find someone who claims to be an accountant who is numerate, then he probably isn't :)

    (Drop down behind desk and await applause from AAT and ICMA types and brick for ACCA/ACA types.

  6. You're safe - I'm tax not accounting :D I just think of ways not to pay it!

  7. Have just been told that the person concerned was a veteran of the first Gulf War and not the Falklands as I have wrongly written.

    That said, after a fairly long piece on the Beeb I still haven't seen any follow-up or clarification regsrding this issue.

  8. As an ACA myself I am proud to say I'm hopeless without either a calculator or (preferably) Excel.

    That's because I'm too busy thinking about business issues rather than wasting time being a numbers monkey.

    On a more serious, on-thread note, I too find it appalling that citizenship is being denied. I believe - though am happy to be corrected on this - that several nations allow military service as a fast-track to citizenship. I think the Australians are 1 example.
  9. Why can't he get benefits? I thought the courts ruled that leaving anybody totally destitute is a violation of the Human Rights Act. I understood that the government was told that they couldn't stop benefits for failed asylum seekers for this reason.

    Am I wrong? Have the rules changed recently? Have I been reading to much right wing media?
  10. I haven't read the news report but if he could indeed apply for naturalisation, why didn't he? If he did not bother to apply for naturalisation, do you not think that he should not then enjoy the benefits of naturalisation?
  11. I'm shocked because I understood that when Brits who were ex-pats, the child's birth was registered in that country but also registered as 'Britsh' with the FO entity in that place.

    As this man has served in the British Army, been schooled here and paid taxes for the pleasure of working here surely he should be regarded as being British and this, which must surely be a clerical or procedural error, situation resolved.

    What an earth has happened to good old fashioned common sense?
  12. I think the parents, being British, assumed that having had their child whilst working abroad and then returning to the UK when he was one, assumed that he was British. When working in East Africa, the form was that any child born to ex-pats was notified to the British Embassy and they were 'registered' as British as a matter of course. This would have probably been the assumptions they were working under.

    Secondly, having been brought up here as a British child, being schooled here, etc. I woud assume that the question of nationality never arose. Therefore he would never of thought that he was anything but British.

    And as a final point, having left school he joined the forces. There was obviously no doubt that the was British or else this issue would have come to light then.

    I don't think it is a question of not having bothered, more a case of not having realised that someone, somewhere, might regard him as not being British.

    If you are a white kid, brought up in England for all your life (or in this case, all the life he you can remember), schooled here, served here, etc. I imagine the last thing that ever crosses your mind is the question "Am I British?"
  13. Padre,

    Whereas I don't doubt that in school he possibly didn't think he was anything else than british surely sometime in his service the system asked for his birth cert/national insurance etc that would have raised the issue. Also at some time whether on tour or holiday has he not applied for a passport again the "Am I British" question would have come up.

    If your post is true and I don't doubt what you saw for a moment it is ridiculous that someone who has served Queen and country should be refused help. Quick fix is to throw away all documentation and claim asylum. Should get a nice house fully fitted and cash to boot..........
  14. Good, pragmatic solution (and he'll probably get more that way too :) ),


  15. To get benefits you need to be considered Habitually Resident and not subject to immigration control or be a refugee.

    You don't need to be a UK Citizen, you just need exceptional or indefinate leave to enter with no restriction on acccessing public funds. If he has lived in the UK for years I can't see why he was refused unless his right to remain in this country is conditional. He would certainly satisfy an habitual residence test by the sound of it.

    Despite what the Daily Mail thinks its very hard to be a foreigner and get benefits in this country. Most people come here on a VISA so that excludes a huge chunk. Asylym Seekers are supported by NASS and most Europeans only have a right to reside if they are a qualified person by which I mean a worker, a jobseeker (for six months and not from the recent EU countries), a student (can't get most benefits), self-employed or self-sufficient (so don't need benefits).

    You can refuse these people (called Persons From Abroad) benefits and it happes a lot more than most people realise, even when they have kids.

    I wonder if the chap is here illegally. He can apply for Idenfinate Leave To Remain as an ex-serviceman (like the Gurkhas now). He probably needs to do that or he never exercised his right. I think there's a time limit.