Luxurious state pensions: No wonder firemen are fill the rich list

If public-sector pensions are such a luxury then when are we going to see Roman Abramovic shmoozing with Fireman Sam?

Share
Related Topics

How is the Government getting away with this idea that a public-sector pension is a "luxury"? Is it something that suave bachelors could show off, saying: "Once I've taken you for a spin in my Aston Martin, how about I show you the mid-range forecast for my teacher's pension over a bottle of Veuve Cliquot."

A pension is a necessity, so you might as well say we simply can't go on enjoying the luxury of a sewage system, given that the amount of waste we're flushing is 35 per cent higher than in 1996, so from 2015 we've got to throw it out the window otherwise we'll end up like Greece.

Also, a pension is part of a wage, not an added-on bonus. Employers don't come round to schools and fire stations once a month slipping a bundle of notes into each member of staff's pocket, whispering: "There you go doll, get yerself summink nice." The next complaint will be: "Public-sector workers who enjoy the privilege of spending all day in job centres and prisons paid for by the taxpayer are also paid MONEY to spend on THINGS, it was revealed in a shocking inside report today."

But apparently these pensions are gold-plated and it's where all our money has gone. So when you read that the richest 1,000 people in the country increased their wealth last year by £60bn, number 34 in that list must be Alf, a retired fireman from Ipswich, who now lives in Cannes on a boat he outbid Roman Abramovich for, and holds parties where he uses his skills to spray cocktails into everyone's glass from a hose. And number 49 will be Beryl, a retired midwife who's planning to buy Tottenham Hotspur if she can mount a challenge to the current chief shareholder, Amy, the retired lollipop lady from Workington.

One of the most infuriating arguments to justify cutting pensions is that private-sector workers don't have them, so why should anyone else? This is a strange way of assessing society, that if someone is badly treated everyone else should be as well otherwise it's not fair. Maybe that's the answer to the scandal in these care homes. People of all ages should be left for two hours face down in a bowl of cold soup and then it would be nice and equal.

Instead the public-sector unions asked their members if they wanted to take action against these cuts, and overwhelmingly they've said they do. It's argued by various politicians that the strikes are a stupid tactic as they'll make the unions unpopular. Presumably unions should adapt to the modern climate by no longer bothering with issues such as their members being asked to work three extra years for no money and instead bring in colouring books and grow watercress.

Strangely, the unions have rejected the advice of people who can't stand them anyway and have gone along with the votes of their own members. Because we do seem to be in a battle between opposite ways of seeing society. For example there's the view of the caller on a phone-in this week, who supported the rise in tuition fees because, "I haven't got kids so why should I pay for other kids' education?"

One answer to this is to point out that education benefits all of society, not just students, and suggest a mild redistribution of wealth would make such facilities affordable, and the same is true of looking after people once they've retired. But a better response, I think, is: "Oh really? I bet you see kids in a recreation ground squealing with delight and think, 'Baah, I'm paying for those swings and that climbing frame, it's not fair', you miserable, bitter, cynical, poxy, selfish pile of sludge. Well, seeing as you've got no kids I don't suppose a soul will turn up to your funeral, but that better not mean you get a pauper's one because the taxpayer will have to fork out for that." But I wonder if that's why I probably wouldn't be a very successful politician.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Should parents be allowed to take pictures at nativity plays?  

Ghosts of Christmas past: What effect could posting pictures of nativity plays have on the next generation?

Ellen E Jones
The first Christmas card: in 1843 the inventor Sir Henry Cole commissioned the artist John Callcott Horsley to draw a card for him to send to family and friends  

Hold your temperance: New life for the first Christmas card

Simmy Richman
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick