Thursday, September 15, 2016

Still suffering

One of the consequences of the vote for Britain to leave the EU was a fall in the exchange rate Pound - Euro.

When we first arrived in Spain the rate we received on the transfer of my pension was about 1.48 to 1.50 Euros to the Pound. And even that was lower than the rate it had been in the years previous.

In the dark days of the slump, the two currencies were on par. Friends in the UK asked us how we were effected by that. My answer was simple, "how would you be affected if your salary/pension was reduced by almost one third?"

Gradually though, things improved and we saw the rate rise to a high this year of 1.432 Euros to the Pound. Generally, it stuck somewhere around 1.32 to 1.34 - that was manageable.

However, post Referendum, the rate nose dived and currently stands at 1.1772. That is the commercial rate, those who exchange money at airports or exchange bureaus will get far less. For my friends in England, imagine if you were told that your income was to be cut by over 12%, how would you feel?

Lloyds bank forecast that the rate could rise to 1.24 by 2017 which would be an improvement but nothing like the rate we received prior to the Brexit vote and still represents a cut of  14% over the best rate for the year.

Those who live in Britain may not care that we expats are getting fewer Euros and they will point to the fact that the current rate favours exports. However, Britain imports a lot of goods from Europe and for those they will pay more.

Nobody knows how Britain will fare once Brexit is finally in place. Those who voted to leave were convinced that things would be better by the propaganda. Many now are not so sure and feel that they were sold a pack of lies. Given the chance to vote again, which they won't be, they may choose to put their cross in the other box.

Those of us who moved to sunnier climes already know the effects of Brexit on our spending power. What we don't yet know is how it will affect our rights living here. Please don't tell me it will be alright, it isn't and most likely won't be.

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