Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Monday, 15 December 2008

Another Kick In The Teeth On Pensions

In the debate about public sector vs. private sector pensions, this story will rub salt into a great number of wounds; not least of all those felt by people who have slogged their guts out all their lives in the private sector only to see the value of their pensions reduced by various economic crises, while public sector pensions remain protected forever and a day.

It appears that some pensions in many public sector organisations have been overpaid for a great number of years. Former NHS workers and members of the armed forces have received "tens of millions" of pounds more than they should have done, because of a miscalculation going back to the 1970s. In the interests of fairness I should point out that this mistake was made by a private sector company. The government is not going to claw the money back - fair enough - but the right amount will be payable from now on.

The way this story has been reported is, in some cases, a story in itself. As Mrs Womble On Tour will testify, I nearly blew a gasket when I heard the headline on 5-Live this evening. "Thousands of people will receive a cut in their pension from next year beause of an administrative error", was the gist of it. Utter bollocks. "Thousands of people have had more money than they were entitled to because of an administrative error, and will receive the correct amount from next year" would have been the accurate way of putting it. The Guardian has exactly the same spin as the BBC, which tells you all you need to know about both of them.

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