Top bosses have pensions 34 times the average public sector pension, says Prentis


UNISON today branded it a ‘national scandal’ that the country’s highest earners get tax breaks worth £10 billion every year on their pensions contributions. At the same time, low wage public sector workers are being told to work longer, pay more and get less in their small pensions.

This tax giveaway, to the top 1% of earners on more than £150,000 a year, is worth more than three times what the government is trying to raise by taxing public sector workers’ pensions. This is even worse when you consider that top bosses in the UK have average pensions worth 34 times more than the average public sector pension.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is a national scandal. Whilst top bosses and the mega rich benefit from ten billion pounds worth of tax breaks, low paid public sector workers are left fighting for their small pensions. They’ve already had two years’ of frozen pay at a time of high inflation, and hundreds of thousands are facing the prospect of losing their jobs. The Chancellor’s claim that we are all in this together just does not ring true.

“£10 billion is three times the amount the government wants to raise by imposing a hardship tax on public sector workers including nurses, social workers, teaching assistants, paramedics and PCSOs.

“Most public sector workers won’t retire on a fortune. Average pensions in local government are just £4,000, dropping to just £2,800 for women. In the NHS the median pension for women is £3,500 – hardly gold plated. That’s after going without between 5 and 8% of their salary year in, year out. Meanwhile average pension pots for FTSE 100 Directors are a whopping £3.91m.

“It’s time the government took a long, hard look at who is breaking our economy. It is the mega rich in the City who got us into this mess, but it’s the low paid and hardworking families who are paying for the crisis.”

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