Sunday, 8 February 2009

National Bankruptcy

On the Daily Mail's UK website last week I read this:
A quarter of all council tax is going to meet the soaring cost of the gold-plated pensions of town hall workers, it was revealed yesterday.

Taxpayer subsidies for the pensions of local authority staff topped £5billion last year, according to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

But on the front page of the Scottish Daily Mail I read this:
The soaring cost of Scotland's town hall workers' gold-plated pension schemes now swallows a third of all council tax bills.
So in England it's a quarter and here in Scotland one third.

And we shouldn't just be looking at these high pension contributions. No, it's basic salaries too:

The pay gap between public- and private-sector workers in Scotland is five times bigger than for the UK as a whole, according to figures from National Statistics.

State earnings in Scotland are also considerably higher than across the UK as a whole. The average wage of a public-sector worker in Scotland has soared to £26,297 — £3,607 more than the typical salary of a private-sector employee.

This compares with average public-sector pay in the rest of the UK of £21,413, just £698 higher than the typical salary paid by a private firm.

And there's more.

The Lothian Pension Fund's contribution rate for employers is currently 18.9% on top of salary. From April this year the rate goes up to 20.8%. In 2010/11 it'll be 22.8% and in 2011/12, 24.9%. That's right, just about a quarter of basic salary will be added as a pension contribution in a couple of years time. So they're going to cost us around 2% extra each year even if they get no pay rises.

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