Monday, 21 June 2010

Public sector pensions' review should be comprehensive and independent, says UNISON

Mon 21 June 2010

UNISON has called on the Government to make sure that its public sector pensions review body is truly independent and takes evidence from unions and pension fund trustees.

General Secretary, Dave Prentis, has further urged the Government to stop issuing misleading figures and mis-informed statements about public sector pensions and wait for the results of the review. He said:
“Only three years ago, public sector pensions went through massive changes to make them sustainable and affordable. Since then, there has been constant sniping and carping by the Tories and LibDems about unreformed, gold-plated pensions, quoting grossly misleading figures to create a climate for cuts.

“We are happy to participate in any review and to give evidence to that review, but the Government has a responsibility to make sure that it is independent and not a rubber-stamp for its ideological attacks on public services.

“Bringing in John Hutton as chair doesn’t fool anyone. I am disappointed that a former Labour minister would allow himself to be used as a tool to attack low paid public sector workers.

“The average pension in local government is just £4,000 a year, dropping to £2,600 for women. People pay into these schemes all their working lives – if they didn’t, they would have to rely on state benefits, funded by the taxpayer.

“The review to the NHS scheme in 2008 gives complete protection to the public purse. The employers’ contribution is capped at 14% and, if the cost rises, it is health workers who will pick up the bill”.


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