Debate on MONDAY to annul prejudicial changes to firefighters’ pensions

[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.

William Bain:

Margaret Beckett:…/commons/margaret-beckett/328

Gordon Brown:

Alistair Darling:…/…/mr-alistair-darling/596

Brian Donohoe:

Chris Evans:

Meg Hillier:

Margaret Hodge:

Lindsay Hoyle:

Helen Jones:…/helen-jones-mp.aspx

Chris Leslie:

Michael McCann:

Gregg McClymont:

Pat McFadden:

Shabana Mahmood:

Madeleine Moon:

Pamela Nash:

Dawn Primarolo:…/…/dame-dawn-primarolo/217

Nick Raynsford:

Anas Sarwar:…/commons/anas-sarwar/3981

Andrew Smith:

Gisela Stuart:


Norman Baker:

Jeremy Browne:

Sir Malcolm Bruce:

Andrew George:

David Heath:

Martin Horwood:

Charles Kennedy:

John Leech:

Stephen Lloyd:

Michael Moore:

Tessa Munt:

Alan Reid:

Sir Robert Smith:…/commons/sir-robert-smith/639

Andrew Stunell:

Sarah Teather:

John Thurso:

Jenny Willott:

Simon Wright:


Ian Paisley Jr:…/commons/ian-paisley/4129


Eric Joyce:

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2 thoughts on “Debate on MONDAY to annul prejudicial changes to firefighters’ pensions

  1. Maria

    So either they will make them work till they are too old and put them and the rest of the population at risk in a fire, or they will cheat someone out of their pension, who, even though there is not a fire or a job every minute of the day, they have to work hard to keep their body in fit condition, for when there is and most importantly potentially give their lives for other peoples safety. Not so long ago I remember they tried to do the same with the army. And they say it is right and fair to treat people this way?

  2. annak53

    Thanks Mike for raising an awareness of this important issue. A very articulate and objective blog (as always).

    The media have not mentioned this at all, No surprise there then!

    Incidentally To date only 13,630 of us have signed this petition.

    Beggars belief really. Please show your support to our Firefighters and sign and share.


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