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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Whiteford Calls for Fairness for MoD Police in Pensions Debate

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

WESTMINSTER FAILS TO ADOPT FAIR PENSION REFORM

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has called for fair treatment for Ministry of Defence police officers during a debate on pension reform in the House of Commons. St Fergus Gas Terminal is home to an MoD Police Station with a number of officers deployed there.

Scotland will suffer unfair pension reforms despite the majority of Scottish MPs opposing bill amendments in Westminster.

The House of Commons debated amendments by the House of Lords on the Public Service Pensions Bill based on findings of Lord Hutton’s Pension Reform Report which recommended a lower retirement age for “uniformed services” such a fire fighters, police and the Armed Forces. The report however failed to include Defence Fire and Rescue Service fire fighters and MOD police officers.

Local SNP MP and SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The Pension Bill vote is a further example of Scotland suffering from legislation it does not want. This pension reform is unfair, and for that reason 83 % of Scottish MPs voted against it.

“This was an important vote for those concerned- yet Alistair Darling failed to turn up and instead played spokesperson to George Osborne.

“It is inconsistent that the Public Service Pensions Bill sets a normal retirement age of 60 for uniformed services, including the Armed Forces, civilian police and fire fighters, and yet links their counterparts in defence to the state retirement age, projected to be at least 68.

“The House of Lords passed an amendment that would have ended the discrepancy of a different retirement age, providing equality for Defence Police and Fire and Rescue Services who play an important role on the front line at home and overseas.

“The UK Government have failed to make a case for higher pension age for uniformed services in the defence sector; they need to follow the spirit of Lord Hutton’s changes to this discrepancy by supporting the Lords amendment.”

How Scottish MPs voted:
Aye-8
No-39

39 of 47 means 83% voted against the Government.

http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/

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