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[Image: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian.]

[Image: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian.]

A crucial vote is to take place tomorrow (Monday, December 15) on whether to annul the Coalition Government’s dangerous changes to firefighters’ pensions. The debate will begin at 4pm.

These are the changes that mean firefighters will not be eligible for their pensions unless they work until they are 60 years old – a tall order, considering many people in their 50s will fail the rigorous tests they must take to ensure they are fit for duty.

Anyone failing the test would be asked to leave the Fire and Rescue Service, meaning they would not be eligible for their pension. It’s a filthy cheat by the Conservative-led government, to take away the benefits for which these brave people have paid during their entire careers.

Labour tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 454) to have the matter debated – and, to date, 281 MPs have signed in support of it, including 22 Liberal Democrats. To defeat the government, Firefighters would need to be sure of the support of at least 326 MPs – they are currently 45 short.

The Fire Brigades Union sees the role of the Liberal Democrats as potentially pivotal in the final arithmetic. If the support of enough Lib Dems is secured, and provided the support of the other opposition parties holds up, it will be possible to defeat the government. It only takes 326 votes.

Of course, it is not a foregone conclusion that every MP who signed the EDM will vote the same way – or even vote at all – so nothing can be taken for granted. That’s why it is crucial to apply pressure MPs in the short time left before the debate and vote, so Vox Political readers are urged to contact your MP, whether they have signed the EDM or not, and ask them to vote against the Government and in favour of our firefighters.

It will definitely mean the difference between a comfortable retirement after a life of service, and a struggle to survive during their twilight years for brave firefighters who have risked their lives many times for people like you.

It could mean the difference between life and death if you have to be rescued by a firefighter who has been forced to struggle under the new conditions.

Thanks to Anne Keen for bringing this to our attention. Here’s the list of MPs who have yet to sign the EDM. Please contact yours and demand their support in this matter.

LABOUR
William Bain: http://www.williebain.com/contact/

Margaret Beckett: http://www.parliament.uk/biogr…/commons/margaret-beckett/328

Gordon Brown: http://gordonbrownmp.org/contact/

Alistair Darling: http://www.parliament.uk/biograph…/…/mr-alistair-darling/596

Brian Donohoe: http://www.briandonohoemp.co.uk/contact.html

Chris Evans: http://www.chrisevansmp.co.uk/contact.html

Meg Hillier: http://www.meghillier.com/contact/

Margaret Hodge: http://margaret-hodge.co.uk/contact/

Lindsay Hoyle: http://lindsayhoyle.co.uk/about-lindsay/contact-lindsay/

Helen Jones: http://www.warringtonnorthlabour.com/wa…/helen-jones-mp.aspx

Chris Leslie: http://www.chrisleslie.org/contact-me/

Michael McCann: http://www.michaelmccann.org.uk/contact-us/

Gregg McClymont: http://www.greggmcclymont.com/content/contact/

Pat McFadden: http://www.patmcfadden.com/contact_me

Shabana Mahmood: http://www.shabanamahmood.org/contact-me

Madeleine Moon: http://www.madeleinemoonmp.com/contact

Pamela Nash: http://pamelanash.com/contact-me/

Dawn Primarolo: http://www.parliament.uk/biograph…/…/dame-dawn-primarolo/217

Nick Raynsford: http://www.nickraynsford.org.uk/contact_me

Anas Sarwar: http://www.parliament.uk/biographi…/commons/anas-sarwar/3981

Andrew Smith: http://www.andrewsmithmp.org.uk/contact

Gisela Stuart: http://www.giselastuartmp.co.uk/content/contact-gisela

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Norman Baker: http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/norman-baker/28

Jeremy Browne: http://www.tauntondeanelibdems.org.uk/

Sir Malcolm Bruce: http://malcolmbruce.org.uk/en/contact

Andrew George: http://www.andrewgeorge.org.uk/help/you-need-help/

David Heath: http://www.davidheath.co.uk/david_s_office

Martin Horwood: http://www.martinhorwood.net/contact.html

Charles Kennedy: http://www.charleskennedy.org.uk/contact

John Leech: http://www.johnleech.org.uk/en/page/contact-details

Stephen Lloyd: http://www.stephenlloyd.org.uk/contact

Michael Moore: http://www.michaelmoore.org.uk/contact

Tessa Munt: http://www.tessamunt.org.uk/connections-list/

Alan Reid: http://www.aandb-libdems.org/contact-us/

Sir Robert Smith: http://www.parliament.uk/biogr…/commons/sir-robert-smith/639

Andrew Stunell: http://andrewstunell.org.uk/en/contact

Sarah Teather: http://sarahteather.org.uk/en/page/contact-sarah

John Thurso: http://johnthurso.org.uk/en/page/contact-john

Jenny Willott: http://jennywillott.com/en/contact

Simon Wright: http://simonwrightmp.co.uk/contact-simon/

DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY

Ian Paisley Jr: http://www.parliament.uk/biographi…/commons/ian-paisley/4129

INDEPENDENT

Eric Joyce: http://ericjoyce.co.uk/contact/

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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