Cameron: "It's about bringing in a Big Society approach to public services"
CBI: "Public sector pensions remain the biggest barrier to the private and third sectors providing public services"
Cameron's speech today extolling the virtues of wholesale privatisation (ironically on the same day when Southern Cross announced it was having to pull out of all its 750 care homes) spelt out how the Government wants to hand-over all our public services to private profiteers. But, to do that, he needs to tear-up public sector pensions too.
The CBI has been encouraging politicians to do this for years. In 2009, their press release argued that "Business are being put off bidding for public service contracts by the need to mirror costly public sector pensions when staff are transferred from the public sector to the private" http://publicservices.cbi.org.uk/media/press_release/00226/
John Cridland from the CBI has been urging the Government to press ahead with its attacks on public sector pensions for exactly the same reasons. In his article on March 9th
Cridland argued that:
"There is so much to be learnt from the changes made in the private sector. Even where defined-benefit pensions remain open, private employers have taken steps to manage the growing burden. From increasing employee contributions and redesigning benefits, to raising retirement ages and moving from a final salary to a career-average basis – all have worked as pension safeguards"
"Pension reforms will also help the prime minister's "big society" programme to really get off the ground. Public sector pensions remain the biggest barrier to the private and third sectors providing public services. Pension costs and liabilities are far higher for providers outside the public sector. When third sector and private sector organisations currently bid for work they have to be able to cover the full cost of public sector pension liabilities, and many simply do not have the money to do so".
In other words, the CBI are saying that they can't make a decent profit out of public services unless they stop paying decent pensions. They want to rip-off public sector workers in the same way that they have already ripped-off many private-sector employees.
Together we have to stop the pensions robbery - and help stop privatisation too.