Government accused of 'steamrollering' pension changes
Friday 09 March 2012
The Government published its final plans today for controversial
reforms of health, education and civil service pensions, sparking
accusations that it was "steamrollering" through the changes.
Discussions have continued since the start of the year in a bid to break the deadlocked row which sparked a strike by more than one-and-a-half million public sector workers last year and could lead to fresh industrial action later this month.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said there had been "constructive discussion" with unions on the final details of so-called heads of agreement set out at the end of last year.
"These agreements mean that public servants who have dedicated their lives to serving the public will rightly continue to receive pensions that are among the very best available, while delivering the Government's key objectives in full.
"This is a fair deal for public service workers and an affordable deal for the taxpayer," he said.
But Unite accused the Government of "steamrollering" through its final offer on public sector pensions, having "avoided" any meaningful negotiations over the last year.
Assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: "The coalition's mask has finally dropped. They are pushing through a pensions package without having held real and genuine negotiations over the last year."
The National Union of Teachers also reacted angrily, saying it had not signed up to the proposals.
General secretary Christine Blower said: "It has been clear throughout a whole year of negotiations that the Government has never wanted an agreement. This Government has always intended to impose its own views and cut our pensions regardless of the case for not doing so."
Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Ministers' obstinacy means we have this ludicrous charade of what is now our fourth final offer, with previous ones being desperate attempts to avert strikes and a failed bid to bounce us into accepting an arbitrary deadline before Christmas.
"We will continue to talk to other unions about planning further widespread co-ordinated industrial action and there is as much reason as ever for our members to vote in our consultation ballot to reject these spiteful cuts."
Other unions, such as Unison, Prospect, the GMB and FDA, said they would study the final details of the deal and consult their members.
Christina McAnea, the union's head of health, said: "The final proposals on the new NHS pension scheme released today have changed significantly from where the negotiations first started.
"It is critical that our members have the final say on these proposals and we will meet with our key health activists before moving to a ballot."
A Treasury statement said: "The agreements continue to deliver the Government's key objectives on linking normal pensions age to state pension age and moving to schemes based on career-average salary, while protecting those closest to retirement.
"While most workers will be asked to retire later and pay more towards their pension, at the same time, most low and middle earners working a full career will receive pension benefits at least as good, if not better, than they get now.
"Those less than 10 years from their normal pension age on 1 April 2012 will continue to be protected from these changes."
The Treasury said cost ceilings set last November remained unchanged, with no additional money made available.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
David Cameron explains selfie with Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela Memorial
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 John McAfee's $100 'anti-NSA' device: 'this is coming and cannot be stopped'
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >
£77099.84 - £96375.26 per annum + Bonus + Benefits : Harrington Starr: My clie...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Package: Harrington Starr: Trading appli...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...