Public sector pensions

OK, this number ain\’t a surprise:

The true cost of pensions for all current public sector workers has been estimated at £1.2 trillion — equivalent to 85 per cent of Britain’s GDP and worth £20,000 for every man, woman and child in Britain.

But this is interesting:

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said yesterday that public sector pensions were “in danger of running out of control”. He said that changing the system was “the big test of political courage”, adding: “The system has to be reformed and there are various options, including shifting to an average salary basis and raising employee contributions, which must be pursued.”

He added: “Behind the fat-cat culture in the public sector is a wish to enjoy the rewards available in the private sector without the risks. But the truth is that many of those senior civil servants, parliamentarians, local government bosses and others who feel underpaid on their generous packages would sink without trace if they had to manage a business through the recession.”

D\’ye think that Polly and Ritchie, those who have been praising Vince to the skies recently for his grap of economic issues, are going to be praising this?

6 thoughts on “Public sector pensions”

  1. If Cameron really wanted to put the cat among the political pidgeons, he could introduce new measures for national debt that included all of Labour off-balance-sheet items such as PFI and pensions. They would have no comeback.

  2. I reckon that public sector pensions should track the size of the economy. We are often being told that every bit of public spending is actually a good investment in the economy. Great, lets see them put their money where their mouth is. If the economy goes does the toilet, so will their pensions.

  3. I agree with letters from a Tory.

    I would introduce new measures of national debt within weeks of taking over.

  4. “I would introduce new measures of national debt within weeks of taking over”: yup, and they could call the publication a “Brown Paper”.

  5. @LFAT: a) you know who invented PFI, right? b) you know that nothing in the existence or accounting treatment of public sector pensions has changed since 1997, right?

    IFRS is the way one accounts for things, if one is an accountant rather than an ignorant blowhard. The current lot are the only lot first to report government finances on UK GAAP (rather than the rigged, not-a-financial-standard that all previous governments of either hue used), and now to move from UK GAAP to IFRS in line with changes in corporate reporting.

    There are many things to criticise the current government for, compared to previous governments. Obfuscation in the public accounts is something that absolutelyisn’t one of them, and anyone who suggests that it is /immediately/ proves they don’t know what they’re talking about.

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