Eastwood in call to review public pensions move

A Derry MLA has called on the Executive to review its decision to impose a 3.2% increase on payments to public sector pensions. SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood, who is the Assembly Private Secretary to Environment Minister, Alex Atwood, has urged the Executive to follow the example of Scotland and exempt the local government pension scheme from increases proposed by Westminster.

Mr Eastwood said: “The proposed increase in the contribution towards the pension scheme represents a 50% increase on the current burden faced by 44,000 local government employees. This will have a major impact on the wage packets of local government workers, 55% of whom earn below £19,500 per annum. The cost of this contributory increase will therefore disproportionately impact upon low and middle income earners. The executive has power in this area, it has a choice.”