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Politics, Uncategorized

The Attack On Public Sector Pensions Is A Smokescreen


30th June 2011 will be remembered as the day that the UK Public Sector made it’s feelings plain on the Tory led Government’s plans to trash the pension scheme. 

Government Ministers have been on the offensive against those people forced into the desperate measure of strike action by claiming there is a massive deficit, the UK is living beyond it’s means and that there exists a so called Public Sector pensions “black hole”. 

The scare stories about the “black hole” need to be nailed as just that, scare scaremongering. 

The Tories bandy around ludicrous figures such as there is an annual “hole” of £100 billion. 

UNISON and the PCS decided to look into this, and commissioned an independent review whose finding were very interesting. 

The so called £100 billion is calculated by imagining that ALL Public Sector workers retired today, at the same time and were being paid out their lump sum and monthly accrued payments together. 

This is like saying that the UK has a mortgage “black hole” because if everyone was required to settle their home loans in full, today then they couldn’t afford to do so. 

What a pathetic and offensive way to make the Tory argument. This once again proves that they think we are all completely stupid and don’t deserve the respect of having things explained to us clearly. 

The “race to the bottom” argument so beloved by Francis Maude says that private pension schemes are in trouble so it is only “fair” that the Public Sector share the pain. 

I have a simple question. Why has no one investigated thoroughly the underlying reasons for private pensions on which millions of people rely, being in such as mess?

The answer makes for some unpleasant truths for the doyens of free market Capitalism. The mess is due to reckless gambling by pension funds during the unregulated free for all, which Gordon Brown did nothing to stop. Fund mangers grabbed eye watering short term bonuses from the pensions casino, but when it all went wrong they left the building bank accounts intact, whilst their savers were left with seriously eroded pension pots. 

The attack on the Public Sector is just one great big smoke screen for the monumental scandal of the state of private pensions. That’s the ticking time bomb because once this section of Society retires it will be the State that will have to ensure that living standards are maintained and all the surrounding problems with low incomes, bad health and reliance on Social Services are addressed.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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