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Hands Off our Public Services Pensions Its’ Not For Sale


Yesterday our public services colleagues has learnt their faith with the announcement of  Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexanderwould have us believe that imposing higher pensions contributions for millions of public-service workers is “the latest step towards setting public service pensions on a sustainable path.”

Let us all put an end to the myths without delay. Higher contributions have nothing to do with pensions provision at all.

They are an arbitrary tax on people who serve the rest of society as a means of raising money to help pay off the deficit caused by bankers’ profligacy.

Union leaders have pointed out that local authorities and health service pension schemes are cash-rich as a result of timely intervention to prevent a crisis developing. The unions negotiated with the previous Labour government two years ago to tweak members’ contributions to ensure that the schemes could cover all liabilities.

We can only surmise that teachers’ pension schemes are similarly well funded since the government has refused to provide information to teaching unions on their current status.

All the public-service unions are united in their understanding that the government is intent on fleecing their members as part of a revenue-raising exercise for the Treasury.

It is wealth redistribution in reverse, with the lowest-paid forced to shell out to cosset society’s rich list.

Another myth of Chief Secretary to the Treasury is his assertion that “those with the broadest shoulders will bear the greatest burden.”

Oh really? How exactly will the government’s hit list for public-service workers affect the bankers and the other City slickers who filled their boots during the boom years before running, when the crisis chickens came home to roost, to what they generally bemoan as the nanny state?

These opulent welfare scroungers demanded – and got – around £1 trillion in a massive bailout of the banks after a gambling splurge that would have put the Earl of Sandwich to shame.

Not content with robbing us once, these rogues are intent on doing the same again, courtesy of their government’s sticky fingers.

And let it not be forgotten that the coalition’s windfall tax on workers’ wages is not a one-off. It will be like an ever-recurring Inland Revenue second bite on each monthly pay packet.

The trade unions that have been negotiating in good faith with the government know that they have been kicked in the teeth.

Government ministers praised some of them for their patience in not joining PCS, NUT, ATL and UCU in their June 30 one-day strike.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude accused the striking unions then of “jumping the gun.”

Well, the starting pistol has been well and truly fired now by the Alexander-Maude con merchants, but the fastest out of the blocks have been the City hogs bound hell for leather for the trough.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, numerous business houses and Tory newspapers have all had the same wheeze at the one time.

They all ask why we don’t ditch the 50 per cent tax rate for those paid over £150,000 a year as a means of boosting entrepreneurship and inward investment.

It’s the classic capitalist approach of incentivising the rich by giving them more and encouraging the poor by paying them less.

The only thing standing in the way of this Tory-led government doing what it does best – robbing the poor to give to the rich – is united sustained strike action by our trade unions.

 

 

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