MSPs to call for end to UK Government pension plan

Ahead of today’s public sector strikes the SNP said its MSPs would raise concerns over the UK Government’s cash grab on public sector pensions in Parliament and send a clear message to the UK Government that Scotland does not back this tax on public sector workers.

SNP MSPs also said it was hypocritical of Labour to stay away from Parliament in search of votes in the Labour leadership.

Speaking ahead of the debate on public sector pensions in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow, which will coincide with a rally by unions in Scotland outside Holyrood SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said

“The UK government’s plans are a naked cash grab.

“This is not about protecting pensions it is about paying off the UK Government’s debts.

“The Scottish parliament has the opportunity today to make clear that we do not support the Tory/Lib Dem government’s actions and that they should put a stop to these plans immediately.

“Many people will suffer disruption today because instead of sitting down and negotiating with the unions the UK Government talked up the strike and encouraged strike action.

“And as SNP MSPs we will speak up in our parliament for all of those taking action to condemn the UK Government’s plans as we must also represent those in the private sector who have seen their pensions devastated by the financial collapse of recent years.

“Everyone should have the opportunity of a decent retirement and it is disappointing that the UK Government’s proposals are more about paying off their debts than protecting pensions."

The motion to be debated is as follows

*S4M-01440 John Swinney: Public Sector Pensions—That the Parliament recognises and appreciates the valuable work done by Scotland’s public sector workers; notes the importance of pensions that are affordable, sustainable and fair and believes that long-term pension reforms must be taken forward with consent and in partnership; registers its strong opposition to the UK Government’s decision to impose a general levy on pension contributions and considers this to be a cash grab for the purposes of deficit reduction rather than a move to secure the long-term sustainability of public sector pensions; regrets the fact that UK ministers appear to be relishing the prospect of strike action, which will cause major disruption and inconvenience to ordinary members of the public across Scotland; condemns the UK Government’s threat to cut Scotland’s budget by £100 million next year alone, on top of drastic cuts to Scotland’s budget, if the Scottish Government does not implement the UK Government’s immediate levy on pensions contributions, and calls on the UK Government to reverse its short-term pensions cash grab.