The way in which workers in these pension schemes in the nuclear sector have been treated by the UK Government is utterly unacceptable. It was former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who gave cast-iron assurances that pensions would be protected following privatisation of the nuclear estate, and the current Tory Government has a duty to protect them.
My SNP colleague Patricia Gibson raised this issue at Treasury Questions in the House of Commons on 17 January, stating that this cut to final salary pensions across the nuclear estate will impact 16,000 workers. The response from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, was shockingly complacent and completely failed to address these concerns. The UK Government have cast off any responsibility and cannot provide any reassurances to workers.
This Tory Government cannot just forget these workers and the promises made to them. Their austerity agenda is causing hardship for communities and families across Scotland, and hard-working people who have duly paid their contributions deserve much better. The UK Government urgently need to provide answers and reassurances to nuclear sector workers. Please rest assured that my SNP colleagues and I will continue to press for such assurances.