Government Bludgeons Aside ASW Workers' Fight for Justice

July 24, 2007 1:49 PM

Today, the House of Lords has been barred from debating or amending the Pensions Bill to provide proper compensation to ASW workers and over 120,000 others as part of the Pensions Bill.

Following the defeat of the Lords amendments to provide 90% of people's lost pensions last week, the Government is forcing through a 'financial privilege' order which effectively bars the House of Lords from adding any further such amendments to the Pensions Bill.

Commenting, Jenny Willott MP and member of the Public Administration Select Committee, said:

"Today, the Government bludgeoned aside the fight for pensions justice by over 2,000 ASW workers and over 120,000 others.

"The Government has effectively gagged hundreds Peers who are fighting for pensions justice. After 5 years of unprecedented campaigning by ASW workers, it is deplorable that the Government has tried to finish things in this underhand and undemocratic way.

"ASW workers have won their case with the Ombudsman, the Public Administration Select Committee, the EU Court of Justice and the High Court. And yet justice has still not been done.

"This Government has ruled out providing ASW workers with 90% of their pensions saving - the level of support people get today if their pension schemes collapse. While Peter Hain has promised more money, he won't say how much or when it will come forward. Whenever, the Government does decide, it is very likely to be a maximum of 70%.

"The Government may feel that it has got away with it today. But it's refusal to give pensions justice and the sordid tactics it has employed over this issue have done serious damage to the pension system, trust in Gordon Brown's government and faith in the political system."

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