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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Overpaid public sector workers?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s statements about overpaid public sector workers may well be fading into the middle distance but they are true reflection of what the Tories really think. Not just do they deploy their age old tactic of divide and rule seeking to set private sector workers against public sector workers and young against old, they warn that doing anything other than following their dogma driven policies will lead to disaster.

It is useful to remember what Hammond said in a response to a question from Andrew Marr, which was: "When you take into account the very generous contributions that public sector employers have to pay in to their very generous pensions it is a simple fact: relative to private sector workers, they are paid a 10% premium."

The average pension of public sector workers is no more than £6,500 per annum. Many workers in the public sector are on poverty pay. The vast majority currently working along with those who have already retired will never receive the 'New State Pension' or anything close to it as the legislation debars those people who contracted out of SERPS.

Latterly millions of workers in their 30s and 40s in both public and private sectors have been told they will have to wait a year longer and lose up to £10,000 of whatever State Pension they will receive. Again we are told that to do anything else would lead to disaster. Little wonder in responding to the announcement that Labours Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams accused the Government of forcing "millions of people to work longer to pay for their failing austerity plans".

It is not just that Hammond is a hypocrite with a £9 million fortune and a Chancellor's pensionable salary of £134,000 a year. It is the fact that he is just plain wrong.

Many members of the public have written to try and correct Hammond’s misguided assertions and you can see some of the comments at this link.

It will be interesting to know what your thoughts are on this issue? You can join this debate and share any comments you have on this posting by clicking on the link to "comments" below.

Eddie Spence


  1. Each time a myopic representative of the fat cats opens his mouth he inadvertently condemns the system which they claim creates all wealth. If their philosophy of the free market private sector being superior to the public sector was accurate,then workers' pensions would be superior in the private sector. We know that is not the case. Since the banker-induced crisis of 2008, which workers have been paying for, almost every private sector final salary scheme has closed down. Millions of private sector workers don't even have a company pension. At one time 88% of private sector workers had access to a retirment plan. That number is now 33%. In other words the free market has failed millions of workers and will continue. The Tory objective is to drag down public sector conditions to those in the private sector. The solution is clear. And it's a socialist one.

    1. I completely agree, Tony, although there are some exemptions to the assault upon final salary schemes: boardroom executives still continue to retire early on final salary schemes (such as Fred 'the Shred' Goodwin), while MPs accrue a pension equal to the average UK salary (£27,600) in under 15 years, and after 40 years can have a pension of £74,962. For everyone else, the reduction of pension scheme benefits continues unabated. The recent Tata Steel settlement requires the workforce to abandon its final salary pension scheme in favour of a less beneficial money purchase 'defined contribution' fund.


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