Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More Pension News

Scottish Government attack pensions increase

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney MSP made a statement to Parliament that increased pension contributions will place an unnecessary burden on public service workers who are already suffering from pay restraint and rising living costs. He also said that this would damage the Scottish economy, undermining consumer confidence. UNISON Scotland welcomed this recognition from the Scottish Government of the unfair and unnecessary attacks on public service workers’ pensions by the UK government.

However, the statement was less clear on those pension matters that are the responsibility of the Scottish Government – including pension contribution increases. He set out the limitations of his powers in relation to the NHS scheme and confirmed his greater flexibility in relation to the local government scheme (LGPS). The financial numbers he gave were somewhat confused and he avoided MSP questions on the cost in relation to the LGPS.

In a letter to UNISON he states that he is waiting on developments at UK level while continuing the dialogue in Scotland. Negotiations with the UK government are continuing into July. UNISON will argue that the Scottish Government must face up to the challenges facing Scottish workers and will urge him not to blindly follow the ConDem’s plans.

Taken From UNISON's Scottish Pensions Bulletin No24

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Peter Smyth
Communications Officer