Magazine article Public Finance

In a Tight Spot

Magazine article Public Finance

In a Tight Spot

Article excerpt

Alan Johnson might not have had the benefit of a university education, but he certainly knows his Italian classics.

The trade and industry secretary gave his former union colleagues a short lesson in realpolitik this week, drawn from Giuseppe di Lampedusa's famous novel The leopard. Speaking at the TUC annual conference in Brighton, Johnson reminded the brothers and sisters of the central character's assertion that: 'For everything to stay the same, everything must change.'

It was a clever way of warning the public sector unions that their gold-plated public sector pensions might have to be nickel-edged in the future. The pension age will need to rise from 60 to 65 whether they like it or not.

Well, they don't much like it. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber claimed that raising the retirement age was a 'quack remedy' for solving the pensions' crisis. Delegates then voted in favour of strike action should the current negotiations reach an impasse.

But this will be no one-man-and-his-dog fuel protest. Thirteen unions are committed to balloting their members, with a possible 3 million local government workers, civil servants, NHS staff, teachers, prison officers and firefighters withdrawing their labour. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.