Sunday, July 03, 2011

Circus Clown in the West Sussex County Times

I would like to comment on Philip Circus's "non-political" rant about public sector pensions,

The average teachers' pension is 10,000 pounds. Excluding the very highest earners, the average public and civil service pension is £4200 a year. It would be an education for well-heeled lawyers to try living on that!

His argument is that because unscrupulous private employers have put their own profits first and robbed their employees of decent pensions, the public sector should follow suit. Presumably Robert Maxwell is his model employer here.

This is analagous to saying that three houses in my road have been broken into and robbed, so the only fair thing to do is to break into all the other houses too.

He ignores the fact that the government has failed to evaluate the Teachers Pension Fund in violation of an existing agreement, so all the figures about affordability or otherwise are just arrogant assertion. Do the sums first then give us the answers; not the other way round.

He ignores the fact that the government has already cut pensions, including police pensions incidentally, by sleight of hand. Violating another solemn undertaking to link public sector pensions to the retail price index the government has invented another measure of inflation which gives a lower figure. They only use this for pensioners;they still use the RPI for evaluating repayments on student loans.

And finally the whole tone of his article; "battling the unions" indeed. What next? Kettling pensioners? Thatcherism is so last century, Phil. Surely you remember that the blessed Margaret had completely routed and destroyed the trade unions thirty years ago. So how come they are still here and well-fed lawyers have to get apoplectic about them? Are there any grown up politicians out there who want to negotiate rather than bluffing?

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