Mon 19 April 2010
Pensions – private sector cutbacks threaten burden on the state
The action of private sector bosses in cutting staff’s pensions
is likely to threaten the UK’s economy, a leading trade unionist
will say today (Monday).
Mike Kirby, Scottish Convenor of UNISON, will – at the STUC Congress
in Dundee today - point to the closure of large numbers of decent
private sector pension schemes, and raise the spectre of a huge
increase in benefits demands by their short-changed staff.
Mike will say “Far from the tired old myth peddled by the CBI
and the Tax Dodgers Alliance - that public sector pensions are
unsustainable, and a huge drain on the taxpayer - the real demand
on the taxpayer is likely to come from employees of their own
members who have had fair pensions cut, while their bosses protect
their own large pensions. The private sector wants the public
purse to bail out their employees pensions shortfall, just as
it bailed out the busted banks and caused this recession.”
The STUC will call on government to maintain fair and decent
public sector pensions, and not to heed misleading calls by the
private sector and the media condemning public service workers
to reliance on means-tested benefits.
Mike will say, “The real time-bomb for the taxpayer is the means-tested
benefits bill, and increased take up of social care and health
services to support people who have been shut out of saving for
their retirement. We already face such demands thanks to the irresponsible
actions of the banking fat cats like those at Goldman Sachs, and
the selfish actions of private firms cutting their own staff pensions.
Closing public sector schemes would see the bill to the taxpayer
rocket by billions.”
The STUC will back a call for decent pensions for all workers,
public and private sector, and go on to call for an increased
state pension, linked to earnings.