HC Deb 31 October 1995 vol 265 cc170-1W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the pension deficit of the West Midlands fire service with particular reference to its impact on(a) effectiveness of the service and (b) the future of the scheme. [40247]

Mr. Kirkhope

The West Midlands fire and civil defence authority is required to set a budget that enables it to meet its obligations under the Fire Services Act 1947, including the provision of an effective fire service and payment of pensions. As far as I am aware, the authority is meeting these statutory obligations. As my right hon. and learned Friend announced on 3 March 1994, the fire service pension scheme is under review, but in determining levels of local government revenue funding, the Government are already taking into account, among other relevant factors, what they know to be the increasing pension liabilities of a number of fire authorities.