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Tuesday 30th October 2012 | 10:44
Plaid Cymru press release:
Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams has expressed his outrage at Welsh Labour MPs’ failure to stand up for public sector workers following last night's vote in Parliament on the second reading of the Public Service Pensions Bill.
Mr Williams has campaigned for a re-think of proposals that include changes in the type of inflation measure used for determining pensions, the amount of workers’ contribution payments taken from their salaries and the
future state pension age.
These changes would reduce the average value of an individual's pension scheme by around a third at a time of rising living costs.
Mr Williams said that changes to pension provision will drive many pensioners into poverty, signalling an abandonment of those who have committed their lives to providing vital public services. He repeated his party's call for a living pension.
Mr Williams said:
"Since these changes were announced in June 2010, Labour have been granted 36 opposition day debates - they have had ample time to debate this hugely important topic. Having failed to do so even once, Labour MPs from Wales have yet again showed that they consider themselves more accountable to their London colleagues than to the people of Wales.
"The proposals voted through Parliament last night, with barely a squeak from Welsh Labour MPs, mean that employees will have to work for more years, pay more of their current salaries in contributions and then receive less money at the end.
"It is plain that such proposal are not acceptable to Welsh workers, who see that they are paying a steep price for the deceptions and mistakes of the City of London that got us into this financial and economic mess in the first place. Neither the government nor the official opposition are listening.
"Given Labour’s failure on this issue, last December, Plaid Cymru and the SNP used one of their scarce opposition day debates to highlight this very topic. Labour failed to support Plaid’s motion. The trade unions really should ponder why Labour prefer embarrassing appearances by their leader at rallies to tackling this toxic coalition on an issue vital to Welsh and UK workers.
"Plaid Cymru fought the last general election on the promise of a living pension which would end pensioner poverty. We will continue to campaign for a fair deal for millions of hard-working public sector employees, whose work is vital to securing the civilised society that this government seems so intent on dismantling."