Row over government public sector pension claims

| November 8, 2011 | 0 Comments
Row over government public sector pension claims

Unions claim that the government is trying to mislead the public in order to gain support for its proposed changes to public sector pensions.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said that the pension proposals could lead to some public sector staff receiving a higher pension than under the existing scheme.

However, Unite’s assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail, said that this claim was misleading.

“He’s using distorted figures to conceal the way in which government proposals will reduce pensions,” she said.

Mr Alexander’s claim follows changes to the Treasury’s plan to introduce less generous career average schemes from 2015.

The revised offer included more attractive accrual rates so that pension funds would grow more quickly.

The treasury said that accusations that it was deliberately misleading people were ‘nonsense’.

A spokesman said that public sector workers on low or middle incomes would receive a pension at least as good as their existing one, under the new proposals.

The proposed changes include an increase in workers’ pension contributions rates and staff will also have to work for longer than previously.

The proposals were rejected last week, leaving Britain facing the prospect of disruption to public services.

In a ballot by UNISON, 76% of its member voted in favour of industrial action, although the legality of the ballot has been questioned because of the poor turnout.

Just 29 per cent of UNISON members votes, with 245,358 of them in favour of a strike and 70,253 against.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of UNISON has promised that essential services will be maintained during the planned strike on 30 November.

Up to five million public sector workers, from 16 different unions are expected to take part in the one day strike.

Tags: , , UNISON

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