Public sector pensions are an unrealistic relic of the past

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From: Richard D Gledhill, Main Street, Dent, Sedbergh.

I CANNOT remember one occasion in the last 20 or 30 years when public sector unions or employees have complained about the ever-increasing contribution that the private sector has been making to their final salary pensions.

It would appear they were happily contented with this situation but now that realisation has dawned, they are none too happy that they are faced with a serious reality check, just like the private sector has been facing for some years.

Pensions are a wonderful regular source of income to look forward to in retirement. Even more so since life expectancy has improved dramatically since the last war. This, of course, is the nub of the issue.

The retirement age for the vast majority of public sector employees has never changed, nor has their contribution rate.

It would appear that most are blissfully ignorant of where the additional money should come from to pay for their lengthening retirement.

For many employees in their thirties and forties, if their retirement age had remained at age 60, their retirement could have spanned 25 to 35 years.

The single most relevant factor regarding the whole issue is that people are living longer and yet their pension contributions have never changed. Does anyone seriously believe that it is fair for the private sector to continue to fund these ever increasing costs?

It is well overdue that reform takes place and a little more realism from the unions and public sector employees would be most welcome.

You can’t expect the majority of the increasing costs to be met by the general public who themselves can’t have these same benefits.

From: Emmerson Walgrove, Parkfield Road, Bradford.

ONCE again, Labour MPs and councillors have shown their true colours by not condemning the unions for taking industrial action.

The unions say they feel betrayed, but the only people betrayed are the school children, students, parents, carers, unemployed and many more who care more about getting an education, finding a job and looking after loved ones.

It’s about time people realised that trade unions are all about causing disruption to everyone.

If my school representative of the teaching association had not presented the head with a list of members proposing to strike, I would have immediately cancelled by membership.

If people can go on strike without informing their employer that they intend to absent themselves from work, then I think the law should be changed.

From: Tom Howley, Marston Way, Wetherby.

SIR Bernard Ingham describes his father as a “minor weavers’ union official” (Yorkshire Post, June 29).

Ingham senior was a man of principle; it would have taken courage for a worker to stand up for his trade union colleagues in those dreadful days of mass unemployment and employers’ contempt for their workers.

You should be proud of your dad, Bernard.

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