SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, has challenged Shadow Secretary of State of Scotland and Glasgow East Labour MP, Margaret Curran, for allowing the Tory led government’s Public Sector Pension plans to sail through the House of Commons during its final reading.
With the UK Government threatening to reduce the Scottish budget, Mr mason has insisted Labour MP and Shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret Curran, now needs to explain to Scotland’s public sector workers why she did not oppose the plans.
Only last week in the Scottish Parliament, Labour claimed to have deep concerns over changes to public sector pensions but their colleagues south of the border have been found wanting. Mr Mason has now written to Margaret Curran MP and asking her to explain to constituents why she missed the crucial vote.
Commenting after the House of Commons vote on the Public Service Pensions Bill, the SNP has condemned the coalition’s plans for public sector pensions without proper consultation, causing great uncertainty and insecurity amongst Scotland’s public sector.
Mr Mason, 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.
“Pensions reform in Scotland should be taken forward in partnership with public sector workers rather than being imposed by the London Treasury. This bill places new and significant constraints on the Scottish Government’s ability to deliver a fair agreement which reflects Scottish circumstances."
Mr Mason added:
"The Bill 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 Scotland’s public sector workers and which should be for the Scottish Government to decide.
“Instead of uniting against these punitive reforms, Labour should be ashamed of themselves for sitting idle and letting the Tories off the hook whilst betraying public sector workers. The SNP will continue to ensure that the voice of ordinary public sector workers is heard in the UK Parliament."