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Have you seen the petition for BFPO

(17 Posts)
Lifeinagoldfishbowl Wed 16-Sep-09 11:01:19

Want to save the BFPO System?

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/SaveBFPO/sign

Please click on and sign the above petition.

Though we all understand that defence cuts are to be made, this
is an area which affects the families in particular.

The BFPO system is the mechanism whereby post is received by our
serving soldiers, sailors and airmen and their families abroad at a
postal address recognised as being part of this country, no matter where
in the world they are serving, even in war zones.

Amongst other things the loss of the BFPO service will
disenfranchise them if they are postal voters; some credit card
providers will not send cards abroad (M&S for example) whereas they will
to a BFPO address; it may affect their ability to let their house whilst
posted abroad, or away from home; it may take away their tax advantages
such as being able to have an ISA whilst posted abroad.

It will affect Open University students who have a BFPO address
as they will be charged higher fees; it will potentially effect children
of serving soldiers when they go to University, as they may not be
eligible for student loans/fees to be paid, and will be charged higher
fees as they live abroad.

They will also be charged different rates for subscriptions etc
as they will now have to come via local mail, and not the UK mail.

scaryteacher Wed 16-Sep-09 12:53:05

Already done further down the board, and I notice you've lifted a lot of my original text, just paragraphed it differently.

Scootergrrrl Wed 16-Sep-09 12:57:13

According to DH, they're not proposing to get rid of the system altogether, just stopping it for some of the NATO outposts with not many personnel. Not that that's acceptable but it's not going across the board.

scaryteacher Wed 16-Sep-09 13:09:00

They are stopping it for all the NATO HQs in Europe with the exception of Naples as the Italian postal system is crap.

This includes SHAPE, NATO HQ in Brussels, EUMS,(quite a few personnel in Belgium, thank you very much), Lisbon (CinCIBERLANT), and we are NOT happy bunnies. The next step will be restricting the BFPO to HM Ships and Submarines and war zones, as it is all a money saving exercise.

The lady on the No 10 petition isn't entirely accurate, but if there is strength of feeling there, it's a decision they may reverse.

I cannot stand the bloody nausea of having to change addresses on everything yet again, and being penalised because the fucking government needs to save a few quid. Can you imagine the hassle with HMRC and the child benefit people, and trying to get anything done, as 'you're not entitled, you're abroad'...'but we're HM Forces'.....'you'd have a BFPO address then'.....

Scootergrrrl Wed 16-Sep-09 13:13:47

That sounds like an enormous pain in the backside. I just wanted to clarify as I thought people in Germany and whatever might panic and think the whole thing was going, although I agree with you that it's probably the next thing they'll try and sneak through.
Have already signed the petition and will circulate the information round our camp out here to try and put more pressure on.

Are the AFF involved at all?

Claire236 Wed 16-Sep-09 13:30:26

The latest I've heard is that they're looking at keeping the BFPO addresses for incoming mail but all outgoing will be via civilian post system which solves a lot of the problems.

Lifeinagoldfishbowl Wed 16-Sep-09 16:27:04

Scay teacher - I recieved an email today and posted it word for word here - didn't see your thread so didn't realise I was copying your wording etc. Sorry.

scaryteacher Wed 16-Sep-09 17:20:42

Don't worry - glad to see my wording gets out there. I wonder if it was from the email I sent mil to send around. Whereabouts are you?

Claire - that's interesting; but doesn't help with sending the Tax Return back recorded delivery! If they keep the BFPO for the incoming mail, why not just keep it for the outgoing? Or, train up the wives here to run it. I'd be happy to give up an afternoon to do it.

Claire236 Thu 17-Sep-09 15:24:31

It won't be run by BFPO but there's a possibility it will be kept for incoming mail due to the welfare issues involved. Unfortunately it's being presented as a saving where in reality the costs will have to be picked up by other budget areas who won't be given any additional funding for it.

scaryteacher Thu 17-Sep-09 17:04:55

If they have to send a lorry here with the mail on it, why not send it back full as well? I understand that on a visit to Lisbon a govt minister got their ears well and truly bent on this one and was taking it under consideration.

lily6 Tue 29-Sep-09 12:28:57

Having been an army wife for 18 years and "enjoyed" the benefits of the BFPO system, and having run a successful and hugely used Gift company between 1983 and 1999 which was just for servicemen and servicewomen and their dependents, I am appalled by the mean, money pinching idea of stopping the facility of BFPO mail to people serving in mainland Europe.

As other people have stated on this site, it will make the normal requirements of living impossible. "No" UK based mail order company will send parcels to addresses out of the UK. How will people get birthday presents, Christmas presents etc etc to and from their families in the UK. What will happen to Bank statements, credit card statements and indeed credit cards. "I am speechless".

I think it is time to get the newspapers involved to stop this absurd and thoughtless decision.

scaryteacher Tue 29-Sep-09 14:57:23

To be fair Lily, I think the Forces got told savings had to be made, and this was seen as an easy way of doing so, that would not inconvenience too many people. I am up in arms because I am one of those affected by it, and also it seems to me to be a change to the conditions of service.

It is not cutting BFPO to mainland Europe, but to NATO HQs in Europe (apart from Naples). It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I wondered what they would do about official mail; got told it would go via the Foreign Office, however as the MoD owes the Foreign Office an enormous amount of money for passports for the Forces abroad, I wondered if the FO would play!

scaryteacher Mon 19-Oct-09 08:27:58

Yay! This has made the pages of the DT, with Simon Heffer urging readers to sign up to the petition.

Result.

Scootergrrrl Mon 19-Oct-09 08:30:40

I heard from our local AFF co-ordinator that the plan has somehow been scrapped but she didn't know any more details. I'll try and find out for you or you could ring AFF direct to see what they say.

scaryteacher Mon 19-Oct-09 09:36:33

What they are doing here is still letting us retain the BFPO address and getting incoming mail, and the dependants are expected to deal with sorting and distribution of this; but there will not be any outgoing parcel mail back to UK, (hard on internet shoppers) and the BFPO over the counter services will cease to function.

NFF have been in consultation about this too and this seems to be the result. Better than hoped for perhaps, but not as good as the level of service we have had, and what is expected. Your conditions of service (and I believe that the provision of a BFPO service counts as that) should not suddenly change because you are posted to a NATO HQ.

Scootergrrrl Mon 19-Oct-09 09:44:03

I agree wholeheartedly - especially as DH is looking at a job in Milan next. I wonder if now it's been in the Telegraph, some of the other media might pick it up and run with it.

scaryteacher Mon 19-Oct-09 11:34:01

Hopefully they will. I suppose as Richards has been tasked with finding lots of savings they don't care where it comes from even though the BFPO I presume is tri service.

There have been redundancy rumours going around as well.

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