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GOVERNMENT PENSION ADVISER CHALLENGED ON 'WILDLY MISLEADING CLAIMS'

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Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has challenged so-called government pensions adviser Douglas Anderson, a part...
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has challenged so-called government pensions adviser Douglas Anderson, a partner with Hymans Robertson, to withdraw his 'wildly misleading claims' that 26% of council tax receipts go towards public sector pensions.

Mr Prentis said:

'Talk about lies, damned lies and statistics - even the Tory chair of the Local Government Association, Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, who is trying to cut our members' pensions, says only 3 per cent of his council's* income goes towards pension costs - that's 3p in the pound. This figure will be much the same for every other council in the country. For England alone total council income last year was£119.6bn of which 2.7 per cent was spent on pensions - less than 3p in the pound. Local government workers pay 6p in the pound towards their own pension.

'Money from council tax payers is a small proportion of the money local councils have to spend - just 16%. To say that only that bit is used to make sure local government workers have a pension when they retire is deliberately misleading. Worse, it's dangerous one-sided propaganda designed to whip up envy and resentment of low paid council workers.

'The truth is that the average pension for a local government worker is less than£4,000 a year. If you are a woman - and 73 per cent of them are - it's less than£2,000 a year. That's only£31 a week after a lifetime delivering services to their local communities.

'We all pay for each other's pensions, whether it's for the fat cat executive of a bank through interest charges or for a billionaire entrepreneur through the price we pay in the shops for everything from toothpaste to toilet rolls.

'If the pensions of local government workers are pushed down even further, the contributions they pay week in week out will be worthless and they will end up having to rely on state benefits to make ends meet in their retirement.'

* Kent CC

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