Labour's pensions vote roll of shame revealed
SNP Work & Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford has slammed the Labour Party for allowing the Tory led UK 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, Labour must explain to Scotland’s public sector workers why they have not opposed these plans. Only last week in the Scottish Parliament, Labour claimed to have deep concerns over changes to public sector pensions but their masters south of the border have been found wanting.
Labour MPs Willie Bain, Cathy Jamieson and Tom Harris – together with dozens of their colleagues - must now explain to their constituents why they neglected to stand up for them at Westminster – in spite of their meaningless claims to the contrary.
Dr Whiteford said:
“Not bothering to vote – and therefore allowing Tory policy the freedom to sail through parliament – is a shameful act of hypocrisy by no less than 35 Scottish Labour MPs.
“It is classic all talk and no action form Labour; Cathy Jamieson MP slammed the UK Government as being ‘out of touch’ but was posted missing, meanwhile Willie Bain MP highlighted the Tory shame of making the rich richer and making pensioners worse off and Tom Harris MP said he’d support a strike, but both of these men were too afraid to stand up in Parliament for pensioners.
“Labour should be ashamed of themselves for sitting idle and letting the Tories off the hook whilst betraying public sector workers.
“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.
“Labour know this and shout loudly to the press but failed to make a stand - it is pathetic - the pensioners of Scotland deserve so much better.
"This whole episode is a powerful illustrattion of the need for pensions policy to be decided in Scotland, in an independent Scottish Parliament."
Labour MPs Cathy Jamieson and Willie Bain
Cathy Jamieson -
"Scottish pensioners who have worked hard all their lives for modest second pensions to top up their state pension will be outraged that an additional 60,000 people in Scotland will be hammered by George Osborne’s Granny Tax by 2016. This Tory-led Government is completely out of touch, choosing to give as many as 18,000 top rate taxpayers a tax cut worth £10,000 a year while pensioners will pay on average £83 more each year.
Willie Bain -
“Handing out huge tax cuts to the super-rich while hammering 423,000 pensioners in Scotland for on average £83 extra in tax, on top of the £480 in higher VAT bills, and the ending of pension credit, shows this Government is out of touch, out of excuses on the economy, and out of ideas on jobs and growth. The age-related personal allowance shields 471,000 Scottish pensioners from extra tax this year. It is unbelievable that the Tory-led Government thinks it is right that pensioners should be made worse off in order to make the wealthy even richer.”
Tom Harris –
The list of Labour MPs who did not vote in the Third Reading of the Pensions Bill last night is as follows:
Douglas Alexander Jim Hood
Willie Bain Cathy Jamieson
Gordon Banks Mark Lazarowicz
Anne Begg Michael McCann
Russell Brown Gregg McClymont
Gordon Brown Anne McGuire
Tom Clarke Ann McKechin
Iain McKenzie Graeme Morrice
Margaret Curran Jim Murphy
Alistair Darling Ian Murray
Thomas Docherty Pamela Nash
Brian Donohoe Fiona O'Donnell
Frank Doran Sandra Osborne
Gemma Doyle John Robertson
Sheila Gilmore Frank Roy
Tom Greatrex Lindsay Roy
David Hamilton Anas Sarwar