Public sector pensions & poverty in old age. John questions the myths.

17th November 2011

Does Mr Cameron intend to 'modernise' public sector pensions to fit in with the 'Victorian values' his party has applauded so loudly?

For areas like Egremont, New Brighton, Poulton, and Seacombe, where a high proportion of our residents have worked in low-paid public sector jobs, the attack on pensions can lead to real hardship, and misery, in old age. 

Cllr John Salter raises some interesting questions

But we are accustomed to propaganda ‘myths’ put out by the usual sources. 

John takes a close look at the propaganda myths

* ConDem propaganda gives the impression that public sector pensions are high.

But are they?  Expressed merely as a percentage the ‘headline’ figures can be presented to look at first glance as though they are high.  But 100% of nothing is … err, not very much!  And no percentage of an already very low income can ever amount to a lot of actual cash.  But it’s a clever propaganda presentation, isn’t it?

* Propaganda gives the impression that public sector pensions are not ‘affordable’, that they are more generous than private sector pensions, and that they are paid at the expense of everybody else.  

On the contrary, pensions are no more than deferred wages – pay at a later date for work already done.  In return for accepting less during their working years public servants enter into a bargain that it will be paid to them when they are old and no longer able to work. No evidence has been produced to establish that cutting public sector pensions will make private sector pensions any better.

* Propaganda suggests that cutting public sector pensions will save money for the rest of us because they are ‘not affordable’.  Really? 

Public sector pensions are affordable.  Can’t the seventeen or so millionaires in Mr Cameron’s Cabinet grasp that by attacking their pensions they may simply drive pensioners  into the kind of ignominious poverty that needs social security payments, instead, to make ends meet?

* Propaganda gives the impression that public sector pensions are extremely high.  What is the truth?  

In fact most public sector pensions are below £5,600 a year.   Half of women public service pensioners receive below £4,000 a year.  Most pensioners who are former Council employees can expect below £3,000 a year.

* None of the ConDems’ ‘savings’, by cutting public sector pensions, are intended to go into any other ‘low paid’ people’s pensions.  But is that what the propaganda will bring people to imagine?

Isn’t the truth that public sector workers are simply having their old-age incomes cut to pay for the deficit caused by wreckless speculators?

* Unions have spent long hours in talks over the spring and summer with ministers and their officials.  But that doesn’t seem to come across in the propaganda.

But there has yet to be any real negotiation.  Are unions unreasonable in taking action as the only way to start to get ministers to negotiate properly?

 

All over the Country the message is the same. Cllr John Salter reports

12th November 2011

Wherever our members go across Wirral, keeping in touch with residents and leafleting, we come across the same message on the doorstep  –  and it’s a really bad one for the Tories, and for the poor LibDems without whose votes they could not remain in power nationally.  People see the Millionaire bankers continuing to draw millionaire salaries while low and middle income families continue to see the value of their incomes falling as food prices, and everything else, is rocketing upwards.  And when they see a government of Tories and LibDems, with seventeen millionaires in its Cabinet, the questions people are asking are

‘How can they possibly know how hard it is for the rest of us?  and ‘Whose interestes can those parties really serve?’

Taking a rare day off from his work here in Seacombe John is seen giving a hand in another ward.

Crackdown and police raids on fake sales

12th July 2011
Cllr John Salter reports
In a massive raid on 17 Wirral shops and off licences, conducted by the Police and the Council’s Trading Standards Officers, hundreds of thousands of pounds were seized as illegal material was found including fake products.  Money laundering was also reported in the press to have been investigated and as many as eight illegal immigrants are said to have been discovered.  John was present for much of the action as it happened.  He commented:
‘While this sort of thing is going on it becomes very difficult for decent, law abiding, traders to work on a level playing field.’
Shortly before the election in May some potentially misleading political propaganda was put about in Seacombe by another political party.  Given that this huge raid has now taken place, involving more than a hundred Police Officers, we draw attention to it here as we wish it to be made absolutely clear that Rana Newsagents is not in any way implicated in this recent activity and remains an excellent example of how proper trading should be done.
For the full Wirral News report go to: