The right-wing pressure group, which purports to seek bestvalue from tax revenue, says local government pensions are too high.
Why? “They are more generous than most private sectorprovision,” according to the organisation’s Research Note 61.
It goes on to say that the pension scheme places a “heavyburden on local taxpayers” and had caused a £53bn black hole.
Yet the average annual payout under the LGPS is only £4,000.If that is what The Taxpayers’ Alliances calls generous, it merely underlinesthe poor value of private sector provision for people on moderate incomes.
You can only imagine the research wonks at the TheTaxpayers’ Alliance doing their sums and exclaiming: “Do you know, some ofthese people get £80 a week when they retire?” “Disgraceful,” comes the Pavlovian chorus.
Perhaps these same wonks would prefer retired localgovernment staff to move on to the benefits system in order to top up theirincome. Because that is the alternative, unless The Taxpayers’ Alliance wantsto pare that too.
The gist of the alliance’s research note is that, becausethe private sector is having serious problems maintaining its pension funds,then it goes against the ideological grain for the public sector to have asuperior scheme in place.
Trade union Unite describes the arguments as a “retread” andpoints out that measures are now in place to reduce the deficit, includingraising the retirement age for new entrants to public sector schemes and toincrease average member contributions.
They come with the blessing of the trade union movement, employersand government. Isn’t this trilateralism a better way forward?