Firefighters Pension Scheme (Scotland)

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29 June 2015.

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Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office) 2:30, 29 June 2015

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Scotland on the effect of firefighters pension scheme reforms in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

The firefighters pension scheme is devolved, and it is for the Scottish Government to consider its operation in Scotland. As such, I have had no discussions with the Secretary of State for Scotland on this matter.

Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)

Surely the UK Government should withdraw this appalling threat to Scotland’s funding and allow the Scottish Government to manage their own public sector pensions within the agreed funding settlement framework.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

We have to look at the context. The cost of public sector pensions increased by about a third in the 10 years to 2009, and reform was necessary to ensure a fair deal for firefighters and taxpayers alike. Firefighters’ pensions remain generous. A firefighter who earns £29,000 and retires at 60 after a full career will get about £19,000 a year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension. It is also worth remembering that the pension age of 60 is the same as it is for the police and, indeed, for the armed forces.