UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Scottish govt can’t say ‘a big boy increased contributions and ran away’

Unions are demanding a 'clear statement' from the Scottish Government on hikes to pensions contributions. A story in The Herald newspaper quotes a union socurce as saying "There are literally hundreds of thousands of workers’ pensions in Scotland which the SNP has a remit over and it can’t say ‘a big boy increased the contributions and ran away’.

First Minister Alex Salmond is reported as saying that says it is unfair to ask public sector staff facing a pay freeze to also pay increased contributions, and wrote to the Treasury seeking an opt-out for Scottish NHS staff, teachers, police and fire officers.

He claims he received "an “extraordinary and threatening” letter from Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, outlining a cut of £8.4 million to the Scottish budget for every month’s delay of the measures.

But despite all the supportive noises about the Scottish Government insists it will not make any clear statement until the spending review this Wednesday.

UNISON’s Scottish secretary, Mike Kirby, said: “We need a clear statement from Scottish ministers on how they propose to proceed with the devolved aspects of this issue.

“We specifically require assurances that ministers will not promulgate regulations to increase employee contributions in local government pension schemes to implement the Treasury expectations.”