Sunday, January 30, 2011

Government “retreat” on public sector pensions levy?

Yesterday Guardian readers who work in the public sector may have been pleasantly surprised to learn: “Treasury retreats over public sector pensions reforms”. The article went on:

The government has retreated over reforms to public sector pensions, saying it will not have proposals ready until the summer rather than pressing ahead with planned higher contributions in the March budget

In plain English: this means is that the consultation period for the *3% pensions levy on most public sector workers will end three months later than previously planned. This is hardly a U-turn. It could be seen as a tactical move to avoid industrial action on pensions before the May local elections.

More significantly this week it became clear that the extra pensions contributions for public sector workers would be the rallying cry for co-ordinated industrial action. Strikes really should start featuring on risk registers across the public sector.

* The 3% may actually be significantly more for some if lower paid workers’ contributions are kept constant.

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