Wes Streeting took Shadow Fire Minister, Lyn Brown MP, to meet members of Blue Watch at Hainault Fire Station to discuss their concerns about pensions and the future of the fire service.
The visit was the latest in a series of visits that Wes has been organising for national politicians to hear the concerns of residents and front line staff in the public sector. Wes and Lyn met with front line fire fighters, the borough commander and other senior officers to hear about their experiences.
One of the big issues raised was the changes to pensions by this government. Under their plans, firefighters will work longer - with the firefighters' retirement age increased to 60 - and paying higher contributions. 60% of firefighters aged between 55-60 are estimated to be unable to meet the fitness test and will therefore be at risk of being sacked and losing out on a huge part of their pension. The 'guarantee' given by Tory Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt MP to protect firefighters deemed unfit for work have proven to be a sham.
Wes Streeting, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North, said: "It was great to meet firefighters at Hainault Fire Station to discuss their concerns about the future of the service. Firefighters, who risk their lives to keep the public safe, have been treated shabbily by this government. Ministers have claimed there is a guarantee firefighters who can't maintain their fitness and who can't be redeployed will receive an unreduced pension, but this guarantee has been shown up for what it is, a sham.
"Throughout the debate on firefighters' terms and conditions we haven't heard a peep from Ilford North's Tory MP. I'll work closely with our firefighters to make sure they're treated fairly and do my best to redress this injustice inflicted on them by this Tory-led government."