Unions slam MPs’ pensions hypocrisy

Unions have accused MPs of “breathtaking hypocrisy” over plans to increase taxpayers’ contributions to their pensions.

Leader of the Commons, Geoff Hoon, announced that the contribution to MPs’ pensions from the public purse was to rise by 2.8%.

The extra cash – worth £1.2m a year – is to cover an increase in the fund’s deficit, which has risen from £25.2m in 2002 to £49.5m.

As a result, the Government Actuary, who reports on the Parliamentary pension fund every three years, ruled that the level of Exchequer contributions should go up from 24% to 26.8%.

The decision comes days after local government workers walked out over plans to scrap the Rule of 85, which allows staff to retire at 60 if they have completed at least 25 years service.

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said he hoped MPs were embarrassed by the announcement. “It really is one rule for MPs and another rule for the rest of us. They should be ashamed,” he said.

Council workers are to hold a series of regional strikes next month after they failed to reach a deal with employers and the government over pensions.

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

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