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

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

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Team Leader

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Engineer - Linux, Windows, Cloud - Central London

£40000 - £48000 per annum + 10% bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engin...

Recruitment Genius: Quality Inspector

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Female Buddy & Team Leader / Buddy

£11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To join a team working with a female in her ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would ramp up Britain's spending on science

Paul Nurse
A family remain in the open for the third night following the 7.8 quake in Nepal  

Nepal earthquake: Mobs of looters roam the camps and the smell of burning flesh fills the air, but still we survive

Bidushi Dhungel
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence