News Release 7 Oct 2010
EIS challenges Lord Hutton's assumptions
Commenting on the Independent Review of Pensions in the Public Sector, which published an interim report today - conducted by Lord Hutton, the EIS President, Kay Barnett, said: "Hutton gives the lie to the view of the Coalition Government that public sector pensions are "gold-plated and unreformed”. Hutton is also clear that notional schemes serve a purpose and should be retained.”
However, the EIS believes that the Interim Report has raised a number of significant issues for the public sector:
(i) The reforms of the previous Government have not yet been subject to scheme valuations. Therefore, one of Hutton’s central themes, that the reforms do not take sufficient account of longevity, is untested.
(ii) The preference for career average rather than final salary defined benefits should not be a matter of political imposition but should be discussed in the specific scheme discussions. There should be no "one size fits all”.
(iii) The requirement for employees to increase contributions to provide "short term savings” at a time of pay restraint is an attack on the living standards of public sector workers.
Kay Barnett said: "There will be much anger among Scottish teachers. Teachers believed that the 2007 reforms were sustainable in the long term and were told so by Government and Treasury. The decision to undermine pension provision and ask teachers to pay more to bail out the economy in the short term is unacceptable.
"The STUC demonstration on 23 October will give public expression to our anger and we expect many thousands of teachers and lecturers to join the demonstration to oppose cuts in services and cuts in public sector living standards, including pensions.”
• The STUC Demonstration under the banner There is a Better way against Public Sector Cuts will take place on Saturday 23 October in Edinburgh.
• The EIS is campaigning against cuts to Education under the slogan Why Must our Children Pay?
For additional information, please contact:
Drew Morrice (Assistant Secretary, Employment Relations), Mob 07966 754421
Brian Cooper (Media & Communications), Tel 0131 225 6244,