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Views of the week: 17 March 2011

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LGC rounds up the best comment, analysis and opinion from the past week.

Editorial, The Herald

There was never going to be a good time to tell public sector workers that they are going to have to pay more and work longer for lower pensions. Nevertheless, the government should have no regrets about asking John Hutton to square a difficult circle so as to be fair to both public service workers and the taxpayer. He was a good choice for the job, not only because he knows his stuff but also because, as a former Labour work and pensions secretary, his conclusions may command a measure of cross-party consensus.

However, this will apply only if the government accepts the entire Hutton package, rather than cherry-picking the bits that happen to suit the Treasury and Tory ideology. This is the right course for a government that purports to care about fairness. The costs of getting this reform wrong are considerable.

 

Pick of the Blogs

Hutton has missed an important trick - The public sector should switch to Defined Contribution pension schemes

David Roache, business finance director

By reducing the pension from one calculated on final salary to one on average earnings makes little difference to the overall liability. Any reduction in total liability will soon be eroded by the inflationary increase in average earnings.

The only way to reduce the public sector pensions time bomb is to change the method of future accrual for pensions to defined contribution. Why is it that Hutton tries to re-invent the wheel? The private sector has been there and done it. Why can’t the government follow what has been done successfully by many private concerns?

Full blog available on www.conservativehome.blogs.com

 

Twitterati - Hutton review

Stuyyz: Wonder if Lord Hutton ever knew what it was like to turn up to a petrol station and think ‘I can only afford to put £10 in’? Doubt it.

NikDarlington: Unions must face reality: Lord Hutton’s pension reforms are sensible and fair.

thesidsmith: Thanks for tackling those obscene pension fat cats like dinner ladies, bin men, receptionists, nursery assistants.

NishmaDoshi: Pensions reform? Much rather set a limit on how much taxpayers will pay for bank losses.

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