DID you know that, around the world, more than half a million British pensioners are suffering due to an illogical and antiquated policy that goes against basic social justice?

Qualification for a state pension is based on National Insurance contributions made. You would, therefore, be forgiven for assuming that all British pensioners who have made the required contributions, can access their full British pension equally, regardless of where they live. Bizarrely, this is not the case.

Currently, 1.2 million people receive a UK state pension overseas – but without any particular logic – 540,000 of them are unable to access fully the pensions that they paid in for. The majority of this group live in Commonwealth countries and their pensions are frozen at the level first received, for the rest of their lives abroad.

This has a huge financial impact, meaning reduced quality of life, limits to personal independence, and, for the eldest recipients, real poverty. A 90-year-old, whose pension has been frozen throughout their retirement, will still be receiving a state pension of just £52 a week compared to the £122 their counterparts living in countries such as the USA or the EU are being paid. For many, that is all they have to live on.

Every year, people whose pensions are frozen in this way are forced to return to the UK just to secure a basic income. Unfortunately, this means that families are often ripped apart.

This week, I met a delegation from the International Consortium of British Pensioners, which is campaigning for the pension rights of all overseas state pensioners. They told me the distressing story of Sandra Macleod, 86, who was born in Glasgow and has lived and worked in Scotland, paying into the UK pension system for most of her life.

She has lived alone since her husband died in 1984 and lives off her UK state pension. Sadly, Sandra has dementia, so she now needs to be around her family more than ever. However, because her four children live overseas (two in Canada), she cannot join them as she could not survive on a frozen pension.

I believe that the Government should honour its commitment to British people who have contributed National Insurance equally during their working lives, by giving them the full and uprated pension they have paid for.

Frozen pensions are a quiet injustice and a national shame. It is time for action – pensioners such as Sandra should not be forced to live apart from their families simply because their pension is frozen.

As everyone knows, contributing to the state pension is compulsory and creates an expectation of a living income in retirement. All recipients of the state pension have made these contributions, and it is unfair to discriminate against retirees who have made equal contributions based upon where they live.

The most absurd thing is that people with frozen pensions often did not know that their pension would be frozen if they retired in some countries abroad. Some moved overseas for work before retirement, at a time when their state pension would not have been their highest priority. Today, the information available is confusing and largely available online, making it difficult for many older people to access and highlighting how bonkers the whole situation is.

With British pensioners suffering across the world, it is high time the Government acted. It has recently said it wants to continue to uprate the pensions of all expats living in the EU after Brexit (although this is dependent on an elusive deal with the EU). It makes no sense that the Government can recognise the undesirability of frozen pensions within in Europe, while continuing to justify it for others elsewhere.

Why should European Economic Area-resident expats, or those in Turkey or Israel, for example, get a better deal than those in Australia, Canada, South Africa or even the Falklands? It is absurd that “Global Britain” should discriminate against its pensioners in this way.

It cannot be right to maintain an inconsistent approach to the uprating of state pensions overseas after Brexit. Now is the time to for this Conservative Government to offer a fully uprated pension to all who qualify to receive it.