Blair to defy pensions vote

Wages link would threaten future economy, he says
Click to follow
Indy Politics

Tony Blair today made clear he would defy Labour conference calls for major increases in state pensions.

Tony Blair today made clear he would defy Labour conference calls for major increases in state pensions.

Speaking after yesterday's conference defeat for his leadership on the pensions issue, he repeated his message that linking pensions to wage rates could wreck the economy in future years.

The prime minister said in a GMTV interview: "What we are trying to do is make sure we can do the things people want us to do in the country, but not at the risk of weakening the economy that's the strongest it's been for decades."

He added: "We probably could for the next few years restore the earnings link, and it wouldn't be a big problem for this Government, but 10 or 20 years down the line, it would be a huge problem."

"The main thing is what are we going to do for pensioners, and we have made it clear we will do what we can when the Budget comes around,"

Mr Blair later told BBC radio listeners: "I am not prepared to do something which I believe to be, in the long-term, irresponsible."

He denied that yesterday's defeat marked a return to the infighting and misuse of union block votes that affected Labour conferences in the 1970s.

Comments