MP press for debate on pension rises

MPs are to press for a debate in Parliament on the Government’s controversial change in measuring pension rises after a petition topped 100,000 signatures.

Jim Singer, 59, who works for the Department for Work and Pensions in Scotland, launched the petition on a government website to criticise the change in upgrading pensions in the private and public sectors from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the usually-lower Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Unions have warned that the move will cost people thousands of pounds over a lifetime, cutting 20 per cent from the value of a pension over 20 years of retirement, although they lost a legal challenge on the issue .

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Jane Aitchison, an official with Mr Singer’s union, the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), said: “Jim has shown that one person can make a difference by inspiring 100,000 people to sign a petition.”

Mr Singer said he was “elated and proud” that the petition has passed 100,000 signatures.

MPs in the PCS parliamentary group will now push for a debate on the issue.

A Government spokesman said: “The Government’s decision to use the Consumer Price Index for inflation-proofing certain pensions and benefits was recently accepted by the High Court.

“Public service pensions will continue to provide protection against inflation and will remain among the very best available, providing a guaranteed pension for all employees.