Dated: 3 November 2011
- Strike ballot means yesterday’s offer should be taken off the table
Responding to today’s announcement of the result of the ballot of Unison members, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“Yesterday’s offer from the Government was designed to avert strikes, but just one day later, it looks as though this bribe has failed. The unions have the Government over a barrel. Once you start offering concessions, when do you stop?
“The original reform proposals were the bare minimum needed to put public sector pensions on a sustainable footing. Yesterday’s more generous offer was a bad idea and should now be taken off the table. There is no sense in carrying our half-hearted reforms now and crisis cuts in five or ten years’ time.
“The plain fact is that people are living longer and so public sector pensions, like any other type of pensions, need to be reformed so they can continue to be paid in the future. Ordinary taxpayers cannot continue to subsidise public sector pensioners at today’s levels.”
- The most recent ONS data shows that, in 2009, there were 5.4 million active members of defined benefit schemes in the public sector, compared with 2.4 million in the private sector. (ONS, Occupational Pension Schemes Annual Report 2009, October 2010). This represents around 86 per cent of the 6.3 million public sector employees and around 11 per cent of the 22.5 million private sector employees in 2009 (ONS, Labour Market Statistics database).
- This is also true of IoD members. A Policy Voice survey of 980 IoD members in February 2009 found that just 12 per cent were members of defined benefit pension schemes, and the figure is almost certainly lower today.