Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Environment Minister defeated by Committee over Pensions plan

20 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan, who is the Deputy Chairperson of the Assembly Environment Committee, has welcomed the defeat of Arlene Foster's proposals to remove the statutory right of local government workers to representation on the pension's body at committee stage today.

The Department of Environment proposal would have meant the withdrawal of the statutory right of workers and employers to representation on NILGOSC (the Local Government Superannuation Committee), the body that looks after the pensions of thousands of local government workers.

After one of the very rare occasions that a Statutory Rule (Statutory Rule 2007/372) has been annulled Mr Boylan said:

"These proposals would have removed the statutory right of workers to representation, along with employers, on the body that looks after their pensions.

"We could see no reason why the make up of this pensions body had to be changed, other than the department wished to change it.

"In the consultation which took place the vast majority of people did not agree with the Minister's proposal.

"When dealing with sensitive issues such as peoples pensions, the public need to have confidence that those in control have their best interests at heart. I am particularly concerned at the attempted encroachment on worker's rights within these, now defeated, proposals." ENDS

Note to Editor

In the vote, six voted to annul the Statutory Rule, one voted in favour of the proposal and Ian McCrea of the DUP abstained.

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