Police pensions' changes are 'wholly disproportionate' - Vaz

Police pensions’ changes are ‘wholly disproportionate’ and should only apply to new recruits coming into the service according to Home Affairs Select Committee chair Keith Vaz, who was speaking at a Westminster Hall debate yesterday.

Government proposals concerning changes to police pensions, including a contribution rate rise from 10.5 per cent to 13.7 per cent, were met by a barrage of criticism. Vaz also mentioned that it was unfair to ‘mandate’ police officers to work to the pension age of 60.

The floor heard how one officer had been punched, kicked and beaten and how his pension had kept him going through difficult times. The Home Office and Treasury rejected claims that increasing contributions and increasing the pension age were unfair.

Police Federation vice-chair Simon Reed at the Westminster Hall debate said: “Today’s debate on police pensions highlights just how strongly our members feel about the issue and it was their direct concerns that prompted the debate to take place. The Police Federation has highlighted the issues to Parliament on just how badly police officers are being hit along with cuts to their numbers, pay and erosion of conditions.”

Policing minister Damian Green said that changes to police pensions come in “difficult times”. He said that pensions should be fair for both officers and the tax payer but more than £2.8bn had already been paid out in police pensions in 2011/12.

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