Public sector workers in Scotland will see another increase in their pension contributions next year.
Finance Secretary John Swinney told MSPS that refusal to follow the UK Government’s policy would see Westminster penalise the budget in Scotland by £100 million a year.
According to Mr Swinney, the UK Government intends to increase contributions by an average of 3.2% of pensionable pay by 2014-15 and would impose financial penalties on the Scottish Government if the same increase was not applied in Scotland.
He said: ”For the Scottish Government to refuse to implement this increase would result in our funding being reduced by £100 million for each and every year the increase was not applied.
”That financial burden is too large to further impose on Scotland’s communities, who are already dealing with difficult economic times.”
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: ”The finance secretary had the choice but decided to keep the money in his budget rather than enhance pensions. The whole statement was a big attempt at diversion from the decisions taken by Scottish ministers.”