PCS: Withdraw pension plans opposed even by Lansley

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley

PCS has called on the government to abandon proposed cuts to public sector pensions after a senior cabinet minister said the planned changes are “unrealistic”.

A leaked letter from Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to the Treasury is a five-page demolition of the pension proposals.

The missive, revealed by the Daily Telegraph, says the plan will discriminate against women workers and cause people to drop out of pension schemes – leaving the social security budget to pick up the pieces.

Mr. Lansley also said that unless the proposals are changed “it is difficult to see how a negotiated agreement could be reached with the trade unions”.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The government should withdraw these discredited proposals immediately.

“Andrew Lansley has said what public sector workers have known all along – the proposed pension changes are unfair and unsustainable. This endorses the key points made by unions in negotiations.”

Mr. Serwotka said that their research among civil servants has revealed that 23% of PCS members would consider leaving the pension scheme if contributions rise sharply. “That could kill the scheme and force people into poverty in retirement. Even senior Conservative members of the cabinet can see that there is an alternative,” Mr. Serwotka said. “The government now needs to heed Mr. Lansley’s warnings and negotiate on the key issues if it is to avoid more widespread industrial action in the autumn.”