Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said in response to the publication of Lord Hutton’s report on public sector pensions today:
“This is a significant and very challenging report about the long-term affordability of public sector pensions.
“But anyone reading this report needs to remember that the government has already pre-empted its findings by significantly increasing employee contributions. This is a second squeeze at a time when public sector workers already face a pay freeze and rising prices. The result is that public sector workers face making bigger contributions and working longer for smaller pensions – even before Lord Hutton’s report has been published."
“We will need to examine the proposals carefully alongside the government’s detailed response. We all know we have to make tough choices across the private and public sector too. But it would be deeply unfair for public sector workers to disproportionately bear the brunt of a global financial crisis that was caused by the irresponsible actions of the banks, who are getting a tax cut from the Conservative-led Government this year.
“Lord Hutton’s report has already done our public debate a service by laying to rest the myth peddled by David Cameron and Nick Clegg last year that public sector worker pensions are gold-plated. As his interim report previously pointed out, the average public sector pension in 2009/10 was worth £6,500 and in local government just £4,000. To call this gold-plated is an insult to public sector workers.”