Tuesday 19 November 2002


A month ago I wrote about the cost of the employers' (that's us) contribution to firefighters' pensions. According to the Daily Mail, the employers' contribution was 22% on top of basic pay. Today the Glasgow Herald says that the contribution is 25%. The various government and union websites that I searched mention only employees' pension deductions and not the additional sums paid by the taxpayers. That makes the total current package £26,904 (not the much quoted average "pay" of £21,431) and the total being demanded £37,500 (not £30,000 which would be the basic pay). I suspect that the majority of private sector workers get NO pension contributions on top of their basic pay. Those that do are seeing the value of their pensions being whittled away as a result of red tape and taxation hitting the underlying investments.

I would like to see journalists quoting total "package" values when writing about people's wages in future.