· Public sector has to adjust to tough new realities on pensions
Commenting on the public sector strikes, due to be held on the 30th June, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Large-scale industrial action will have a significant impact on business confidence and inward investment, which are both critical to the UK's economic recovery. For example, the disruption caused by teachers striking means many parents will miss a day of work to look after their children, resulting in lost wages and damaging businesses’ productivity.
“In a recent BCC survey*, nearly half (41%) of businesses said they felt fairly or very nervous about recruiting former ex-public sector employees. The strikes have the potential to reinforce this perception if they cause widespread disruption. Many of those private sector employees affected by these strikes envy the better working terms and conditions enjoyed by those in the public sector.
“Public sector pensions have long faced problems of affordability, and reforms to bring them into line with those in the private sector are essential. Taxpayers should no longer have to foot the bill for the hole in public sector pensions which is spiralling into billions of pounds. The reality is that our workforce is living longer, and pensions need to reflect this to be sustainable in the long-term. The private sector has had to wake up to the tough realities of pension provision in a rapidly changing world, and the public sector must to do the same”.