Saturday, 3 December 2011


On Wednesday I attended the Bristol March in support of the public sector workers who were striking to defend their pension provision.

Today I was in Wells High Street, gauging public opinion on the strike doing a questionnaire.

There is no doubt the government chooses to divide public opinion on public sector pensions, this is easy to do, as many in the private sector do not have access or the ability to afford a private pension.

Public sector workers, Ambulance workers, Nurses and Teachers for example are valued people within our society and deserve to be rewarded in terms of their salaries and conditions.

The Office of Budget Responsibility has in July 2011 has stated that current public sector pension will decrease as a portion of nation income by a third.

Yet the proposed government changes would see a 42 year old nurse pay an extra £283 a year and have to work seven years longer and a 31 year old teaching assistant will pay £388 extra a year and work three extra years.

The government are looking to effectively save £2billion from public sector workers.

There is a huge problem with pensions in the private sector, between those who do not have employers schemes or cannot afford them and with top directors in the private sector (FTSE 100 directors) have pensions worth nearly £4 million on average.

For the Unions and public sector workers to win this argument the solution to extending decent pension provision to the private sector will have to be sought, this will mean the Unions have to change their approach and campaign in a more effective way with private sector workers and increase penetration in the workplace.

Politically, the case has to be made for a secure future for all, this will mean a revaluation of tax and benefit system, with tough choices made.

The bottom line is the country needs to be more productive, the government needs to help restructure the economy, developing an industrial strategy around innovation of new technologies that produce goods for the country and away from casino banking.

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