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Mrs. P.

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  1. First of all, thanks Clair for the breakdown on the tax situation. We visited the Tax people at Figeac this afternoon, and although we weren't clear on this business when we went in, I'm not sure we were too much clearer when we came out! Seems they've changed the way the calculations are done, and we're not paying much more tax than last year, but the CMU cotisations have been hiked up, they must have changed the way they do their calculations too. Government seem to be giving something with one hand and taking it away with the other. Ernie. Although I am a non-actif non EU citizen, I have been here longer than 5 years. Jersey doesn't reimburse France for medical cover, there is no reciprocal agreement for that, [nor for the tax, so if I become liable for tax there, I will have to pay it there and in France, doubly taxed in effect]. I don't pretend to know how or why the non EUs should still be covered by the CMU and EUs not.  We paid into the Jersey health system until we came to live here, and fully expected to pay into the French system, in a similar manner, which we did, we had to. Unlike the UK, Jersey has no 'E' cards, so we never got the first 2 years 'free', i.e. being paid for by our ex-home country, we started paying into the CMU during our first 3 months here, which, incidentally is the only agreement Jersey has with France, a kind of 'holiday' cover, [and that's assuming you'll be returning home after that time]. We don't have health cover anywhere else, I assume we are on a par with the Americans, New Zealanders et al.. who are living over here. Unlike UK residents, when we reach retirement age, we will still have to pay into the CMU, [if it still exists by then], until we die, because of the non-reciprocal thing. We are not entitled to 'free' [paid for by our ex-home country because we paid into the system there for X number of years], health on any 'E' forms, they don't exist in the Channel Isles..I wish they did, because I intend to live a long time, and I could save a packet! Seriously though, you're right, I don't doubt many non- actif EUs will feel put out by this, and I don't blame them. But I didn't make the rules. Although things have now turned out alright for me and mine, it doesn't prevent us feeling annoyed and disgusted at what we perceive as shoddy treatment of fellow Britons, who don't want to defraud the system or get something for nothing,  all they WANT is to pay into the system quite legally and get on with life. No offence taken Ern, it's good to talk. Get it off your chest!! X
  2. A follow up as promised to our re-admittance to the CMU. They phoned back this morning. Our re-admittance is because I am a citizen from a non EU 'country', [Jersey], not as a result of the 5 year rule. I have found out the reason our cotisations have gone up by 101 euros per trimester. The o/h looked at the recent tax form and discovered that the 20% abatement had been left off. We thought this was an error on behalf of the tax dept. It is not. The CMU advised me that this is new law, the 20% abatement is now defunct, for everybody.[How on earth did we miss seeing that coming!?]  Seems we're all going to have to pay more for health cover. However, it's still a lot more affordable than private health insurance, so we can't complain!  Still keeping fingers and toes crossed for good news on the 5 year rule for EU citizens tho'. Christine.
  3. Good news to-day, we have been re-admitted into the CMU! Following my previous post of 9/11, regarding Jersey citizens, I decided to write a short letter to our CPAM in the Lot, whilst waiting for a letter from the S.S. in Jersey confirming that the island is non EU.     I pointed out that the Channel Isles were not in the EU or the EEA, and have no reciprocal health agreement with France, therefore could they re-examine my dossier and my request to renew the CMU. The letter I received today is the usual standard one - "Affiliation au regime general sous critere de residence - Renouvellement. Periode du 01/10/2007 au 30/09/2008". Followed by the same blurb reagrding what law it comes under [loi no. 99-641 du 27 juillet 1999 sur la CMU], and stating how much our cotisations are going to be each trimester.The only difference being the wording in bold, near the top, stating "Rectificatif du 30/10/2007", which is the date on the letter we received stating we were being kicked out. No mention of my letter to them, or if we are being re-admitted because I an non EU. I am waiting on a return phone call from the CPAM to find out more, but despite calling twice, I have been told the person I want may call back today, or on Monday. The cotisations have gone up drastically, we're paying 101 euros more per trimester, so I need to find out why, as my pension hasn't gone up significantly in a year. I also intend to ask if we're back in because of the Jersey connection or the 5+ year rule. I will let you know.  
  4. Not having read this thread for a couple of days, and following on to the above, I can confirm that what Antonia says is quite accurate. As a 'true' Jersey born person, my passport does indeed state that I am not entitled to live permanently or work in France. My mother, in contrast, whose grandmother was French, has no such endorsement. My husband, however, is English, though he lived and worked in Jersey for nearly 20 years before we made the move here.As I have stated before, he has no entitlement to any 'E' forms or benefits from the UK. It is because of him that I can live permanently in France. Don't ask me what the situation would be if he pre-deceased me - I don't know! When we originally applied for cartes de sejour we had to fill in different paperwork than normally filled in by EU citizens; our mairie had never seen the like before, but getting the CdeS was no problem.We are now awaiting our Titre de Sejour, which we applied for some weeks ago. As I see it, with the present health issue, we could opt go either way, non EU or EU, due to our 'nationalities', [although we Jersey folk are considered as British]. Seeing as we live on my Police pension, sourced from Jersey, then we intend to go down the non EU route, with my husband and son being my 'dependants', and see what happens. Being from Jersey might have some benefits, but it is a 'swings and roundabouts' affair; for instance there is no reciprocal health or tax agreement between Jersey and France, so, if we remain in the CMU, we will pay into the French health system until we die, no free treatment after we reach retirement age. And we are also liable to pay full tax in both Jersey and France. Thankfully, we are currently below the tax threshold in Jersey, but if proposed new tax laws come into play, then our situation could change radically. It'll be interseting to see what the CPAM makes of our situation. We had 'the letter' last week, so we're just gathering together some ammo before the big meeting soon!                    Christine.
  5. Coops! Did I read it right? That Jersey citizens ARE entitled to CMU cover? I shall certainly take a copy of this and use it as ammo. when I go to our local CPAM offices. Just waiting on Jersey social security letter confirming Jersey is non in the EU. You're a gem. Thanks for thinking of us Channel Islanders. Christine.X
  6. Thanks Manxie. I've just drafted a letter to our SS in Jersey asking for a written reply re. the Channel Isles' non-EU status. I'll go off this afternoon.  As soon as I get it, we'll be off to our CPAM offices with the argument. Yes, I will post with the result of that meeting, but it's likely to be in a couple of weeks. Keeping fingers crossed!
  7. Thanks Coop! I've just telephoned the Social security offices in Jersey who confirm that the island is neither EU nor in the European Economic area [the Espace Economique Europeen] referred to in the letter. If I write to them, asking for a written reply clarifying this, they will do so, which'll be further ammo. to take to the CPAM office in Cahors. Seems they [the CPAM] don't know the Channel Isles aren't EU, but there again, not a lot of people know that!
  8. The dreaded letter from the CPAM  du Lot arrived in the post this morning, stating that as from the 31st March 2008 we will no longer be affuliated to the CMU. Having read all the previous threads on everything concerning this topic, now that's it's actually happened, I'm not sure what to do next? As previously stated, I'm from Jersey, a non-EU island, tho' my o/h is from the UK, but lived in Jersey for approx. 19 years, so he's not entitled to anything from the UK. We have my Police pension from Jersey, and live on that, with my o/h and son being  'dependants'. If the new rules apply only to persons from EU countries, [the letter states 'tout ressortissant de l'Union Europeenne, de l'Espace Economique Europeen ou de la Confederation suisse], and in the absence of any movement on the 5 year rule [for which we have applied for our Titre de Sejour], perhaps we ought to pay the office a visit and find out what our position is. Or do we just sit tight and wait for further clarification? Any thoughts please?
  9. Hi! Have you seen or tried Delia's 'Creole Christmas Cake'?[ Recipe from  'Delia Smith's Christmas' book]. It's a recipe I've used for many years, and when I ran my own cake making business  before I moved here, it was the cake base I used for all my wedding/christmas cakes. Delia mentions it's too rich a cake to marzipan and ice, but I never found this a problem. She recommends topping it with a glazed nut topping. Happy baking!   Christine. link added by a mod
  10. Hi, JSA Aude. Pulled the following few from my many cookbooks; Green Tomato mincemeat. [an oldish recipe, still using imperial weighing system] 2lb peeled sliced green toms, half pound chopped mixed peel, juice of 2 lemons and rind of 1, 3/4lb brown sugar, 1lb peeled & sliced apple, 1/2lb chopped raisins, 1 teasp. mixed spice, 1lb white sugar, 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1 cup water.    1 small cupful rum. Blend alltogether except the rum, and cook gently until tender. Just before potting stir in the small cupful of rum.   Red & Green Pepper Chutney [contains green tomatoes]. 1lb red and green peppers mixed, 2lb green toms, 2lb sour apples [use tart eating apples if you haven't got bramley's or the like], 1 and a 1/2lb onions, 1 and a 1/2 pints vinegar, 1oz. salt, 1lb sugar, 1 and a 1/2 oz. mixed [more or less as liked] of chillies, cloves. allspice, root ginger, mustard seeds, peppercorns. Prepare veg, discarding the pepper seeds. Mince and chop all the fruit and veg. finely. Put in pan with spices [those that are whole, tie up in a piece of muslin], and one third of the vinegar, and simmer until thick. Add the second one third of the vinegar, and simmer until thick. Add the rest of the vinegar and the sugar, and simmer until thick; pot and cover. Chutney is ready if no liquid is visible when a wooden spoon is drawn through the mixture.   Green Tomato and Apple Chutney. 2lb green toms, 1lb apples,1 and 1/2lb onions, 8oz. seedless raisins, 1lb soft brown sugar, 1 pint vinegar, 1/2 oz. ground ginger, 1/2 oz. salt, 12 red chillies. Cut up toms without peeling. Peel, core and chop apples, chop onions. Put toms, apples, onions and raisins, with vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt. Tie the chillies in a piece of muslin suspended in the pan. Bring to the boil, stir well and simmer for 1 hour until thick and golden brown. Remove the bag of chillies. Pot into hot jars, cover and seal. The chillies will make the chutney hot and can be reduced in amount or omitted altogether. Green Tomato Sauce. 3lb green toms, 1lb cooking apples [use tart apples otherwise],4 oz. shallots or onions, 8 oz. brown sugar, 1/2 pint vinegar, 1 tablesp. salt, 1 teasp. ground mmixed spice, 1/2 teasp. black or cayenne pepper, 1/2 teasp. dry mustard. Wast toms. and apples, peel onions. Chop all thickly and put in a pan with the other ingredients. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally then simmer for 1 to 1 and a 1/2 hours, until the veg. and fruit are really soft. Sieve the sauce and return to a clean pan. Boil for 1 minute. Pour into hot bottles and seal. Hope they've given you food for thought, sorry about the imperial measures. I don't really 'do' metric!  
  11. As I'm now 53, things 'hormonal replacement therapy-wise' do concern me. Three years ago through my doctor here in France I requested a gynae. check up, as I was pre-menopausal. The upshot of this was that at that time HRT wasn't necessary  yet. A recent chat with my GP, reveals that he isn't keen on HRT, hasn't any faith in it's effectiveness, and wouldn't recommend it to his wife! He advised a product in tablet form called 'Bioptimum', which is soya based, and apparently helps alleviate the hot flushes, [charmingly referred to as 'les bouffees de chaleur'], and the 'acceleration of ageing'. Anyway, I bought some from the pharmacy, but I can't say  for sure they did much good. I am now taking some natural HRT, which is plant based,  bought mail order from a firm in the UK. We'll have to see what happens... However, for us ladies of  larger proportions, the news is good. We retain our female hormones for much longer, making HRT either unnecessary or to be taken for a less longer period, according to my doctor. At last, a reason to be fat!!!!
  12. Contrary to our friends' popular belief that early retirement is one long holiday, our days always seem to be pretty full.. The nice thing is that we can take our time doing whatever it is we have to do, without pressure and hassle.[We'd both had fairly high pressure jobs, him in banking me as a police officer]. Once we'd sorted out the house and garden as we wanted it, that took a couple of years, we then started the enquiries for the adoption of our little boy from Russia. That was very involved taking about a year and copious amounts of paperwork, not to mention 2 visits to Russia. Then came the joys of parenthood with a 4 year old with a slight hemiparesis on the right side, and who spoke nothing but Russian, and who's socialising, education and everything else basically began from day 1 of the adoption, because they'd done precious little with him in the orphanage. Whereas most kids go through the 'terrible two's' at that age, our had his at ages 4 and 5, which meant there was never a dull moment in our house! Add to this teaching him English, the alphabet, and the rudiments of reading, writing and numbers, to bring him up to speed, and you'll get some idea of how we were occupied. It was great when he went to the school, we thought, at last we would have time on our hands. But the gardening and the potager don't look after themselves, the shopping had to be done, once a week we had French lessons, the dogs needed walking, not to mention the friends and family who came visiting from time to time and required picking up from either Toulouse or Brive. That entails cooking, sometimes it feels like you're never out of the kitchen, and constant keeping the place shipshape; after all, you don't want them to think you live in a pigsty! Oh, and before I forget there is the O/H's bit of part time work 'chez Andros'.Plus, when the occasion demands, I make novelty and celebration cakes for friends, having run my own home cake-making 'business' in Jersey, after I left the Police. It's not something I make a profit on, it's a hobby and I enjoy it, but it is time consuming. Being avid readers both of us, we now do this in bed first thing in the morning. And yes, we do still tend to lose track of which day is which, except we're pretty sure of the weekend and wednesdays, as our boy's not at school those days!  All in all, the thought of it being one long holiday would be nice, but we'd get awfully bored if it was. How, when we were working, we ever found the time to do anything else, is still a puzzle to me!! Anyway, better sign off, we've got the in-laws over at present.........
  13. Yes, it's certainly a very worrying time, as the messages we are getting are mixed or confusing. To say the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing is very obvious in this matter. I telephoned our CMU in Cahors this morning, as nobody had bothered to return my call yesterday. It seems they are in a state of total chaos, and just about as much in the dark as anybody else. They really don't seem to know what the final outcome is likely to be, as it's early days yet, and all the individual dossiers relating to persons likely to be affected  have to be studied carefully, I was told. I was also told what I already know, in that someone has to work a minimum of 60 hours per month to be [or remain inscribed]. They wouldn't be drawn on this 5 year residency business, said it wasn't their place to comment or make decisions in those matters. Bit cagey. Anyway, they are not withdrawing the Cartes Vatale for the moment, so we [here in the Lot], shouldn't be worried about getting a letter asking to hand them in immediately. That's what the lady I spoke to said. It wouldn't surprise me if what happens in reality may turn out to be totally different!! As I stated in a previous post, my husband has signed on for work, temporary or otherwise at 2 agencies in our area. He starts on a part time basis at Andros tomorrow, but we don't know for how long.[ The last stint he did earlier this spring certainly didn't amount to 60 hours and then the agency seemed to forget about him, and didn't contact him until this morning. Must have been something to do with his going in yesterday  to remind them he was still available!]  I was told that I could always go and see the Social security rep. at St Cere, at Ecole Burseille [or something like that!], Place Gambetta, open Wednesday afternoons  between 2 and 5.30, but at the moment, I don't think I am likely to get any different info. from them. All in all, it's a rather frustrating waiting game.
  14. Thanks for the info. As my husband is from the UK, I am [or was] under the impression I was, as wife, 'covered' by his E.U. status. I don't quite know what to think now! Frankly the authorities in Jersey aren't any help at all in this area. I'll do as suggested and look at the non E.U. pages on here, then if necessary, take it further with the mairie and prefecture. This could be very important to clarify now, seeing as it is my police pension we live on. 
  15. Just stumbled onto this website this afternoon, whilst looking for info.and guidance. We're early retirees too, from the Channel Isles which brings it's own set of problems. Jersey, not being an E.U country,doesn't have either a reciprocal health or tax agreement agreement with France. We took professional financial advice before arriving here 6 years ago, in order to establish what our tax and health outgoings  would be likely to be, given that joining the French health system was obligatory. We hooked into the system and started paying in, during the first three months we were here. [Unlike the UK, Jersey has no 'E' forms entitling us to free anything!] We have lived, to date, on my Police pension, quite adequately. Two years into our residency here, we adopted a Russian child through the French system. He suffers with hemiparesis,  and is mildly handicapped, with a weakness in the right hand and lower leg. Enquiries with the health authorities and our GAN mutuelle insurances before the adoption, to establish if our 'cotisations' would remain the same, or rise, to accommodate any treatment he might receive were favourable, and luckily they remained as they were. That's a bit about our background.  Given the present changes, for which we can get no concrete assurances from anybody, my husband phoned the English speaking CPAM helpline that was being advertised, this morning, and the only advice we were given was that they might know more at the end of October. I am still waiting for a return call from the CMU in Cahors in the Lot, who I phoned also this morning. Our options, unless the situation changes, are either my husband finding work in order to remain affiliated to the CMU, which would continue to offer protection for our son, or to go down the road of private medical cover, which would not only be a great deal more expensive, but which would not include our son, due to his existing condition, according to one private health firm I telephoned to for a quote.. Payments for treatment, such as the 'Botox' injections in the lower leg, and the 'caliper shoes' would have to be borne by ourselves. Under these circumstances, we could probably not afford to continue living in France, and as house prices have risen phenomenally back 'home', we couldn't afford to return there either. Like a great many people, this situation, which is not of our making, has caused a lot of anguish, and we're not sure what to do next. My husband has signed on for work with the 2 agencies in our area, but like many small towns, employment is limited, and, I regret to say, seems to be  biased in favour of the French! Earlier this year he sent his C.V. to approx. 15 local businesses, of which I believe only 3 bothered to reply in the negative. So the employment option isn't looking too good at present. We've been reading about this '5 year residency business'; can anyone explain what that's all about? Apologies for rambling on, but it is very worrying. We're wholeheartedly behind you all with our support!
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