Whiteford speaks out against ‘botched’ plans

COMMENTING on a debate in the House of Commons on the Public Service Pensions Bill, Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford condemned the Tory/Liberal coalition’s plans for public sector pensions without proper consultation, causing great uncertainty and insecurity among Scotland’s public sector.

Speaking after the vote, Dr. Whiteford said: “These punitive reforms are all about the UK Government’s deficit reduction plans, and have nothing to do with securing sustainable pensions.

“The need for affordable, sustainable and fair public sector pensions is of critical importance to everyone, which is why the short term cash grab by the UK Government is so concerning.

“This bill places new and significant constraints on the Scottish Government’s ability to deliver a fair agreement which reflects Scottish circumstances.

“It appears to leave no flexibility for Scottish public servants’ principal concern which is around scheme Normal Pension Ages being equalised with the State Pension Age, or age 60 for police officers and fire-fighters.

“The UK Government continues to have the power to meddle and influence issues which are central to the future of Scotland and which should be for the Scottish Government to decide.

“Instead of uniting against these punitive reforms, it is incredible that Labour have chosen to let the Tories off the hook and let public sector workers down by sitting on their hands.

“The SNP will continue to ensure that the voice of ordinary public sector workers is heard in parliament.”