Fire strike stubbed out

PUBLISHED: 13:50 27 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:42 06 May 2010

FIREFIGHTERS across the nation have backed down on plans to strike after ministers abandoned proposals to raise the pension age for existing staff. Ministers agreed to protect firefighters current retirement age of 50, halting union delegates impending

FIREFIGHTERS across the nation have backed down on plans to strike after ministers abandoned proposals to raise the pension age for existing staff.

Ministers agreed to protect firefighters' current retirement age of 50, halting union delegates' impending vote on strike action.

They had wanted to raise the pension age to 60 for new starters, but instead backed down and agreed with the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) that those with 30 years service could still retire at 50.

The Government has said it wants to cut the cost of the fire brigade scheme, but the FBU said it was "fundamentally opposed" to the original proposed reforms.

Meanwhile, recent government figures showed that the number of fire-related deaths in the UK fell to its lowest level for 45 years in 2004.

The figures also revealed that firefighters attended 443,000 incidents which was the lowest number since 1998.

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