As I have said, police officers face the same risks every day. They deserve the same pension rights, and their families deserve the same financial protection. Comparisons have already been made between police officers’ widows and widowers and their armed forces counterparts, with Ministers often seeking to differentiate between the two as a way of justifying the cessation of pension rights for police officers. However, as has already been commented on, the 2011 Hutton Report made it clear that
“there is a need to recognise the unique nature of the work the uniformed services (the armed forces, police and firefighters) undertake.”
They put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. Is it not now time for England and Wales to join the rest of the United Kingdom in ending this injustice? Will the Minister undertake to meet the campaign group? Many of them are here today and will be happy to discuss a way forward with the Minister.
I ask the Minister to end this incomprehensible, unfair and, quite honestly, blatant inequality. Let us give the families back the money they are due. All these men and women are asking for is a level playing field instead of a harsh financial penalty. For me, this boils down to a simple issue: we have to stop putting a price on love. The Government have to make sure that widows, widowers and their children have access to the pension rights that were put there to protect them in the future. By right and by legitimacy, they should have them.