Storm brews over civil service cuts

The Government yesterday pressed ahead with changes to compensation payments to civil servants despite the threat of legal action by trade unions.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said the new Superannuation Act, which reforms the compensation scheme, had received Royal Assent, adding that the changes gave extra protection to the lower paid, while limiting payments for higher earners.

Civil service unions are balloting members on the scheme, but the biggest, the Public and Commercial Services union, is opposed. General secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Parliament's human rights joint committee has already criticised the Government for failing to make its case for such drastic cuts, saying ministers are relying on flawed reasoning that we have previously overturned in court."