Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

What are the Government afraid of?


Coalitions are, in my opinion, weak forms of Government. The stronger partner is always scared the junior partner will leave them and thereby removing the Government’s majority. It means there is never a policy which is adhered to during its passage into law, as concessions are made to the junior partner, and leadership is often weak.

And this is the case with public pensions, which I have blogged on before. Today the Liberal Democrat and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has buckled under the threat of a General Strike and made the gold plated extremely generous public sector pensions even better.
No one who is due to retire in the next ten years will see a change in their pension. And teachers and nurses (remember not all are angels) will actually see an increase in their career average schemes (which will, rightly, replace final salary schemes). As Nick Robinson reports on his blog a teacher with a final salary of £37,800 would receive a pension of £25,200 each year, up from the £19,100 they would earn under their current scheme, whilst a nurse, with a final salary of £34,200, would get an annual pension of £22,800 rather than the £17,300 they would have been entitled to under the old scheme. Compare this to those retiring in the private sector on a similar salary and you are looking at an annual pension of around £8,000 to £10,000.
Naturally, the unions say the General Strike will still go ahead anyway. How can someone wake in the morning, do as little work as possible and still demand a pension which only those who are Directors in a large private company could expect to retire on? 
This is how the Institute of Directors has reacted to the Government climbdown:

“It is not reasonable that private sector employees who will never enjoy defined benefit pensions should continue to subsidise public sector workers insulated from economic reality.” 

It’s time the public sector woke up and smelt the coffee.

Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

3 thoughts on “What are the Government afraid of?

  1. Public-sector pensions pay out well because their funds are run communally for the benefit of pensionholders, rather than for the benefit of absurdly highly-paid managers and directors. It's private-sector workers who should wake up and smell the coffee, and realize how systematically they are being ripped off by private pension funds. The public-sector funds are able to offer these defined benefits and yet are still fully-funded, which is more than can be said for many private schemes, which have been mercilessly raided by greedy directors. That's the economic reality the govt should be addressing.It's typical Tory 'politics of envy' to seek to worsen public-sector pensions to match those of private-sector workers. What about working instead to improve the rights and benefits of private-sector workers?(In case anyone wonders, I am not and have never been a public-sector worker.)

  2. If I recall, we had one of the best private sector pension systems in the World not that long ago. It was systematically destroyed by Gordon "prudence" Brown who robbed more from it than his friend Robert Maxwell ever did from Trinity Mirror. The £5 billion a year theft from pensions is what destroyed private sector pensions, and Labour should be reminded they stole our old age at every opportuntiy.

  3. Private sector pension safeguards were strengthened in the mid-nineties after the raid by Maxwell (ex-LABOUR MP). They were undermined by Brown's removal of the tax credit on dividends. Private sector employees, who can no longer afford big pensions themselves, should not be expected to fund public sector pensions any longer.

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