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Thanks for the link – I hadn’t read …

Comment posted Time to ask what the people will stand: striking GPs have it all ways by BFOandC.

Thanks for the link – I hadn’t read it. I noticed particularly the claim (not contested) that the Teacher’s Pension scheme alone had contributed over £40 billion more than it has paid out. This underlines the point that various Governments were happy to use the schemes as revenue providers in the ‘good times’ but are now unwilling to fund them in the ‘bad’.
People should not blame public servants for the need now to fund pensions but successive Governments who used public servants contributions as an annual additional revenue.

BFOandC also commented

  • It is really dreadful stuff that (as your link makes clear) Governments refused to make the Teacher’s Pension scheme a fully funded scheme.
    I am also (perhaps wrongly) very suspicious that the Government has refused, as part of their current changes to pension arrangements, to have an independent valuation of the teacher’s scheme.
    That suspicion is confirmed when your link quotes a National Audit Office report in 2010 that following the changes made in 2007/8 ‘overall costs to taxpayers will stabilise at around 1.0 per cent of GDP, close to their current levels.’
  • Nearly all the pension schemes of public sector workers are not fully funded (I believe the Local Authority worker’s scheme is funded) but are schemes where the ‘agreement’ was that when a scheme was in ‘credit’ money would be paid to the Treasury and when it was in ‘deficit’ the Treasury paid money in, to make up the shortfall.
    All the schemes have, in the past, contributed large amounts to the Treasury. In fact in the 70’s and early 80’s the teaching unions campaigned for the Teacher’s Pension scheme to be made fully funded but no Government, of either party, wanted to lose what was seen as a good source of revenue. Remember, last year the NHS scheme contributed around £2 billion to the treasury.
    Also for the last 5 years no new entrant to the Civil Service has been able to access a traditional final salary scheme.
    It is worth bearing in mind that the NHS scheme is not the only scheme to allow entry to those not public servants. Teachers in independent schools can be (and are) members of the teacher’s scheme. Again no Government wanted to change this arrangement. The Tories were concerned that it would make recruitment of teachers to independent schools more difficult and Labour didn’t want to ‘lose’ the income provided by the independent school teachers who were generally paid a higher salary.
    It is very easy to fall for the Government’s propaganda on this matter without thinking through the realities of the situation. Once a final salary pension scheme is closed to new entrants (as nearly all public schemes have been for 5 years or so) then it will quickly become much more ‘expensive’, as no new contributors will be added but the existing accrued pensions will need to be paid.
    The majority of public servants did not want these unfunded schemes but whilst they contributed surpluses to the treasury no Government wanted to lose them. Now, when some of those contributions given to the treasury should be ‘paid back’ they find there is an orchestrated campaign to vilify public servants who have these ‘gold plated pensions’. Remember the average NHS pension currently being paid is around £6,500 and the average Civil Service pension in 2010 was £5,928.
    I know I’m old fashioned but if we are concerned about those who are getting large pensions then perhaps we should resurrect the additional ‘unearned income’ tax?
  • Just a couple of points of factual information:

    Civil Servants pensions are contributory as are teachers, local authority workers and the NHS pension scheme.

    Also last year the Health Service pension ‘scheme’ was in surplus and contributed around £2bn to the treasury.

Recent comments by BFOandC

  • So it is to be an ‘in or out’ EU referendum – with imponderables
    For me this is final proof that Cameron has no real interest in maintaining the Union. If the SNP were writing his script it couldn’t work out better for them.

    So he ‘insists’ on a one question referendum meaning the stark choice is between the status quo or independence. Then, shortly after the SNP have seemed to be taking damage over the issue of Scotland’s membership of the EU post-independence, up pops Cameron and puts EU membership in doubt even if Scotland remained in the UK.

    So, any Scot who wants more powers devolved from Westminster and also wants to know they will be in a state which is a member of the EU will have only one sure choice in the referendum.

  • EC President’s ruling on membership not a real issue
    It seems quite clear that if/when Scotland regains its full independence it will have to apply (as a ‘new’ state coming into existence) to become a member of the EU. We can argue about how willing the EU might be to welcome Scotland into the fold, but the reality is that their ‘welcome’ will depend on what the precise conditions of membership are when agreed.
    Therefore post a ‘successful’ referendum there will have to be a detailed negotiation with the EU to decide those terms and agreement will need to be reached before independence comes into effect.
    One question: will the electorate be asked to approve whatever those terms turn out to be?
  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    Sorry but I’m not dealing with issues of rights and wrongs here nor what MR should or should not have done. All I wanted to point out was that Mr Ramsay had both recorded and distributed his recording. That fact is now at least recorded and accepted by you.
  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    Sorry, I really don’t think anything I said was misleading. The facts (not opinions) are:
    Mr Ramsey made and distributed a recording without others at the meeting knowing about it.
    MR intervened because a recording had been made and distributed.
    Those are the facts.
  • Most constructive move yet from the slomo pro-union side
    I wonder whether if, nearer the time, it looks like the referendum could give a majority for independence we might see an ‘agreement’ between the main Westminster parties that if Scotland rejected independence they would hold a ‘Devo-max’ referendum a few months later.

    I have never understood why the majority of the Westminster parties should have allowed themselves to be put into a position where the Scottish People are to be offered either the status quo or independence.

    I suppose it depends on whether they think that the majority of those unhappy with the status quo will vote against independence. But is still seems to me a very risky approach for the union parties to take.

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