John Swinney (SNP Finance Secretary) told the Scottish Parliament last week that the UK Government had confirmed its intention to increase public sector worker pension contributions in the coming year, as part of a move to increase contributions by an average of 3.2% per cent of pensionable pay by 2014-15.
The Scottish Government could choose not to impose the increases however it did impose them in 2012/13 and it is planning to do so again in 2013/14 and 2014/15. The additional contributions do not go towards pensions, they are simply a tax on public sector workers.
Dave Watson, UNISON Scotland Organiser said: “We agree that these pension changes are being driven by Westminster, but Scottish Government ministers could do something different on this if they wanted to – and they have decided not to.”
A special meeting of UNISON Scotland’s Health Committee will take place within the next two weeks to discuss further industrial action.
Updating the Scottish Council on the NHS pensions dispute in Scotland, Tom Waterson told delegates that it is now clear that it is the Scottish Government that is choosing to impose the pensions tax on health workers in Scotland. Tom described the Scottish Government pensions tax as ‘The Swinney Tax’.