Via Hansard, the Prime Minister sets out the facts on public pensions at PMQs (emphasis mine):

Let me just remind the right hon. Gentleman and the House of the facts about public sector pensions. Anyone earning less than £15,000 on a full-time equivalent salary will not see any increase in the contributions they have to make. In terms of the reforms we are making, a nurse retiring on a salary of just over £34,000 today would get a pension of £17,000, but in future she would get over £22,000. A teacher retiring on a salary of £37,000 would have got £19,000, but will now get £25,000. These are fair changes. I will tell the House why they are fair. We rejected the idea that we should level down public sector pensions. We think that public sector pensions should be generous, but as people live longer it is only right and fair that they should make greater contributions. What we see today on the Opposition Benches is a party that is in the pocket of the trade union leaders, that has to ask their permission before crossing a picket line and that take the irresponsible side of trade union leaders who have called their people out on strike when negotiations are underway.

I thought the highlighted point was lost yesterday.


  1. I’d be interested to know why the Prime Minister thinks public sector pensions should be generous.

    In fact, it’s not clear why there should be public sector pensions at all. Why doesn’t the government simply turn whatever pension pots actually exist over to the pension holders themselves? They could then decide their own contributions, as free individuals, according to their present needs and retirement goals.

    This would mean more choice for public sector workers and less hassle for the government. It would eliminate the temptation for politicians to make unrealistic pension promises. It would make comparison between public and private sector pay easier. It would also avoid any allegations that public sector pensions are being ‘raided’ to compensate for other government spending (such Gordon Brown’s bank bailouts).

    If public sector workers really want back only what they pay in, they should be demanding control of their pensions, not lobbying for more generous terms.

  2. Id agree with SP……and would add in the fact what on earth was yesterdays strike for if the text that Steve highlighted from Hansards is indeed correct??.

  3. I too agree.

    I would also go further by way of educating public sector workers that they are entirely funded by the private sector. Adjust their salaries to the current net. And remove all income taxes and NI contributions.

    I’m fed up with the “We’re taxpayers too line” .. it would save money on paperwork, and why not let them keep their income tax free allowance so that they can do a bit of work for the private sector on the side?