date: 7 October 2010
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on the Hutton Review of Public Service Pensions published today (Thursday), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Public servants will be angered by the review's call for them to pay more for less generous pensions. Public sector workers are already facing job cuts, a pay freeze and increased workloads as they are expected to do more with less. They have already had the value of their pensions cut by the switch to CPI indexing, which will slice a little off their pension every year.
'At a time when inflation is breaking targets and pay is already frozen, asking people to pay immediate increased contributions adds up to a significant pay cut.
'But the precise details of what will happen are as yet far from clear, and on important issues John Hutton has firmly pushed the ball back into the Government's court. These should be negotiated with unions rather than imposed from above.
'Yet many of the critics of public sector pensions - including ministers - have been rebuffed today. Public sector pensions are not gold-plated, and the report says that pensions should be linked to salary, that change should be introduced in ways that do not deter pension saving and that there should be protection for the low paid. This will stop a race to the bottom.
'The review is also a challenge to Government to do more in the private sector. If ministers accept these proposals, the two in three private sector workers who get no employer pension support have every right to ask why they can't have decent pensions too.'
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Issued: 7 October, 2010