Councillors look at cut in pensions

A PROPOSED increase in pension contributions for Scarborough Council staff is set to be discussed next week – on the eve of planned mass strike action by public sector workers.

Members of the council’s Resources Scrutiny Committee will meet on Tuesday to look at proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

In a report by Roger Kaye, the council’s head of human resources and performance, he said it was a update following an Independent Public Services Pensions Commission’s report which was published in March and was chaired by Lord Hutton of Furness.

He first presented a report to the committee in July on the Hutton Report’s recommendations on proposals affecting public sector pension schemes. He said: “Lord Hutton recognised, and this has subsequently been supported by the Treasury, that the LGPS is different to other pension schemes operating in the public sector in that it is a fully funded scheme.

“The Hutton report dismissed claims that the public sector pension schemes were gold-plated. The purpose of the review was to ensure that all public sector schemes were fit for purpose, affordable and sustainable.”

Mr Kaye added that following the Hutton Report the Government announced its intention to review contribution rates within each of the public sector schemes in order to achieve £900 million worth of savings by 2015.

The move outraged public sector staff who are set to take Wednesday’s day of action across a number of areas including: schools, councils, hospitals and immigration services.

Mr Kaye said that at the beginning of this month the Treasury made an improved offer to avoid the day of industrial action but there was confusion as to whether it would apply to the local government scheme.