Who in their right minds would think that Firefighters should be working until 60? What more needs to be said? And actually, this government doesn’t either, in spite of what they say. This is just a cynical ploy to reduce Firefighters’ pensions.
“Firefighting is a dangerous and physically demanding job which requires specific fitness standards.
“It is obvious to everyone that it is more and more difficult to meet those standards in your 50s compared to your 20s.
”Firefighters in that position face a stark choice of being sacked or losing half their pension.
“This is outrageous and all the claims that the government values our firefighters have been exposed as an utter lie.
“They need to wake up to the fact that we are not going away and we will be continuing our fight for pension justice.”
The government in N Ireland recently offered firefighters a retirement age of 55, and the FBU says this demonstrates that the Westminster government’s position is not justified by evidence or lack of affordability.
The FBU recently launched a legal challenge against the government’s proposals, saying they have received legal advice that reducing the pensions available to firefighters by different amounts depending on when they retire after 55 amounts to age discrimination.
In addition to this scandal, the UK public are seeing fire stations closed and the valuable land on which they stand on being sold off to property developers.
Furthermore, there are draconian cuts both in Firefighters and Appliances. For example, Nancy Platts, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven, has been campaigning against local cuts which will see frontline services reduced and, according to the consultation document, will increase the number of fire deaths in the city.
“I believe that the public have been misled on both the consultation process and also the cost of keeping the fifth fire engine in the City. Cutting a fire engine that responds to over 1,000 emergency incidents a year and enables firefighters to save lives and protect the public merely to save money that could be saved in other areas, is not acceptable. The Fire Service’s own documents show that cutting 24 firefighters and removing a fire engine would save approximately £900,000. This amount of money although large can easily be made in other areas or by looking to share back office resources across the south east region. I would expect all other avenues to have been explored before public safety is put at risk.”
- Cut 25% of Firefighter jobs from the City of Brighton and Hove
- Take away a Fire Engine that attends over 1000 (Hove) or 2000 (Brighton) calls a year
- Leave high rise properties at risk without sufficient resources to attack high rise fires quickly
- Replace the City’s Ariel Ladder Platform with an inferior appliance
Support the Firefighters as they fight on all fronts to protect the public and themselves from the actions of this cynical government and their supporters on regional Fire Authorities.