Penny Mordaunt
The government's pension proposal has led to multiple strikes from members of the Fire Brigades UnionReuters

The Fire Minister has secured a victory in the House of Commons after MPs backed the government's plan to make firefighters in England work until they are 60 and increase their pension contributions.

The proposal was passed by 313 votes to 261 after Labour failed to oppose the legislation.

The plan has stirred controversy and led to multiple strikes from Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members in England.

The union, which represents 38,258 firefighters across Britain, has maintained that the proposal is unfair and unworkable.

But Penny Mordaunt, the Fire Minister, said that the plan to increase the retirement age of firefighters from 55 to 60 is "fair to both firefighters and to the taxpayer".

The Conservative MP also reassured firefighters that protections for older workers mean that no firefighters over 55 would lose their jobs for losing fitness through no fault of their own.

Mordaunt has warned that a black hole in the firefighters' pensions will hit £600m ($938m, €754m) by 2019.

"It should come as no surprise to any member of this House that a pension scheme where the average member spends 25% more time in retirement than they do in employment is not sustainable," the minister said.