Michael has today opposed Government changes to firefighters’ pension regulations which could put firefighters’ lives at risk.
The regulations put forward by the Government are built on the assumption of a dangerously low aerobic fitness standard. The Williams Review, which the Government itself commissioned, states that the aerobic fitness measure the Government is basing their plans on means “the risk of sudden catastrophic cardiac events increases… with a risk of sudden death particularly while undergoing high levels of physical exertion”. This flawed fitness standard would put firefighters needlessly at risk and fail to protect the public.
If a more robust fitness standard is implemented it would mean that the assumptions on which the Government’s pension regulations are based would no longer be valid. The result would be that a number of firefighters who try to maintain fitness would be unable to meet these operational standards into their late 50s through no fault of their own.
Michael signed the ‘prayer against’ the regulations, which secured today’s full Parliamentary debate in order to hold the Government to account and oppose them. At least 270 MPs have put their names to the ‘prayer’. Unfortunately the vote was lost by 313 votes to 261.
Commenting, Michael said, “The Government’s Firefighters’ pension regulations are not fit for purpose. They are based on an assumption about a dangerously low fitness standard, which would put public safety and the lives of firefighters at risk.
“The Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few. Firefighters risk their lives to save ours and they deserve better than this.”