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Superannuation Bill

Part of Freedom of Information (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 5:13 pm on 7th September 2010.

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Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office 5:13 pm, 7th September 2010

My hon. Friend says that those terms were "almost agreed", but that was far from being the case. In fact, one of the trade unions refused to agree to them, sought judicial review and had the agreement quashed. Given that one of the unions had refused to contemplate agreeing to the relatively modest-if we are honest-changes to the current scheme, it would be unrealistic to assume that we could then go back and say, "Oh, PCS, please feel completely differently, and please execute a rapid volte face from your position of a few months ago." I take the view that the previous Government took, which is that the situation is not sustainable, and that one union cannot be allowed to stand in the way of necessary reform. That is why we have introduced the Bill, and why we are engaged in a concurrent process of negotiation, through which we genuinely want to achieve a long-term, sustainable settlement.

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