Pension protesters call on Lib Dem Alexander to resign

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By a Newsnet reporter
 
A demonstration has taken place in the constituency of Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander in protest at the UK coalition’s plans to increase pension contributions from public sector workers.
 
An estimated 500 people marched on Mr Alexander’s constituency office in Inverness, with hundreds demanding his resignation by shouting “Danny, Danny, Danny – Out, Out, Out”.

Many protesters dressed as a “Danny the Robber” character with a Danny Alexander mask and a “Pensions Swag” bag, claimed that the Lib Dem MP was not representing the views of the people who elected him.

Calling for the Lib Dem MP to resign one protestor said: “We think it’s disgraceful our local MP is heading up a smash and grab raid on the pensions of hard-working public sector workers.”

The Inverness MP is Chancellor George Osborne’s right-hand man and is seen by many public sector workers as the architect of the controversial pension plans.

The march on the UK Treasury Chief’s office was part of many similar protests held throughout Scotland as almost 300,000 angry public sector workers took part in a one day national strike.

Other protests saw a letter handed in to the Shetland offices of Mr Alexander’s Lib Dem colleague Alistair Carmichael calling on him to change his mind over the UK coalition decision.

Protests took place throughout Scotland, from Shetland to the borders as staff demonstrated their anger at the plans to increase public sector pension contributions.

In Aberdeen, hundreds of workers staged a rally at the city’s Castlegate and in Dundee one thousand attended a similar gathering in City Square.

In Glasgow, police estimated more than 8000 people took part in the city centre protest.  In Edinburgh 7000 protestors staged a march past the Scottish Parliament where MSPs, minus Labour and the Greens, debated a motion calling on the parliament to condemn the UK coalition’s plans.

One protestor said: “We’ve been asked to work longer – more years for less pay – it’s an atrocious deal”.

SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “We have a long-term debate about the sustainability of pensions which I think is a fair and reasonable debate to have, but our prospects of resolving it satisfactorily have been contaminated by the short-term cash grab of the Treasury to increase people’s contribution to their pensions.”