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Plaid tells UK Government to stop pensions 'Cash grab'

08/12/2021

Plaid and SNP give MPs chance to vote on public sector pension proposals

In today’s opposition debate on Public Sector Pensions, Plaid Cymru’s Work and Pensions spokesperson, Hywel Williams MP, will call for an end to the unfair changes proposed by the UK Government.

Last week, a Day of Action saw more than 2 million people across the UK join in protests against the changes which will make those affected work longer, pay more and receive less when they retire.

Plaid Cymru and the SNP are hosting an opposition day debate on the subject and, if there is no significant movement by the UK Government, will push the motion to a vote.

Speaking before the debate, Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Work and Pensions, Hywel Williams MP said:

“Two million people last week showed their dis-satisfaction with the UK Government’s changes to public sector pensions – yet this has not been the subject of a single full debate on the floor of the House of Commons in the past 18 months.

“We are therefore proud to be holding this debate on behalf of all of those people who are either directly or indirectly affected by these changes.

“The debate on public sector pensions has not been open and transparent. After negotiation, changes were made to public sector pensions in 2007-08 making substantial savings – but this has been swept under the carpet.

“The UK Government have failed to explain what is wrong with that agreement or why it should be changed.

“This is just a cash-grab from public sector workers who will work longer, pay more and get less in return.

“It wasn’t teachers and civil servants who left the finances in a mess – so why should ordinary people have to clear up the mess?

“There have been 36 opposition debates held by Labour since the June 2010 where they have ignored public sector workers. Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru and the SNP are looking after the interests of public sector workers and have brought forward this debate.”

 

The motion to be put before the House of Commons for today’s debate in the name of Plaid Cymru and the SNP is as follows:

“That this House recognises and appreciates the valuable work done by public sector workers and believes that they should receive pensions which are affordable, sustainable and fair; believes that the changes announced since June 2010 by the UK Government are primarily for the purposes of deficit reduction rather than a move to secure the long-term sustainability of public sector pensions, notes that these changes are unfair on public sector workers who will have to work longer, pay more and receive less in their pension when they retire; further notes the findings of the National Audit Office that the 2007-08 pensions re-negotiation changes will generate an estimated savings of 14 per cent by 2059-60 and the conclusions of the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts’ Thirty-eighth Report of this session on the impact of the 2007-08 changes to public sector pensions (HC 833) that the cost of public service pensions has reduced substantially because of these changes and agrees with criticism in both reports of the failure to develop a long-term strategy for the role of pensions in recruitment and retention to the public sector; condemns the Government’s threat to cut devolved administrations budgets if they do not implement the Government’s immediate levy on pensions contributions and calls on the Government to reverse its unfair changes to public sector pensions.”