We are all suffering

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In reply to Cllr Broadbent in the Evening News (November 25).

Naturally this councillor would back a strike by local authority workers. He is a member of the Labour Party and we all know what the last Labour government did, or more to the point what they did not do. This country is still coming to terms with that legacy.

This is not the right time to subject neither the present government nor its citizens to a countrywide strike. It is hoped that the rank and file realise the seriousness of this country’s and Europe’s fiscal difficulties. It would be more in the interests of us all if the government’s opposition would work with it instead of against it, we but live in hope.

Mr Broadbent is a repected member of the local council, yet it beggars me that he, like most political speakers, is conservative with the truth. He states that on average council workers will receive £4,000 per annum as a retirement pension, plus a tax free lump sum of say £20,000-plus. This of course is on top of the normal state pension. Paying contributions for all of a working life and taking a graduated pension would garner an income of £520 a month.

In his letter Cllr Broadbent fails to report that the employer’s contribution to a works pension far outways the contribution that the employee pays into the pot.

One of the major attractions of becoming an employee in any sphere of government work is the benefit of an excellent pension. And I for one would be very grateful for, as he puts it, the miserly £4,000 extra. I know people who have to live on that amount per year. As he has written £4,000 is an average, what really is the actual for most workers? I would estimate far more than Mr Broadbent states. What is his by the way?

Let us be realistic Mr Broadbent, not greedy. Times are hard out here in the real world and will become much harder as time goes on. The financial crisis is not behind us by any stretch of the imagination. I well remember the power unions that decimated our industrial heritage – our manufacturing and engineering base virtually disappeared overnight.

Some blame lack of investment, but in the end it was the unions that brought the government of the day to its knees and drove the work force onto the treadmill of the benefit system. With the exception of the NHS, the majority of local authority workers are non-productive. Yes, we have our refuse taken away, our streets cleaned, and traffic wardens making life miserable for some. But what do those people contribute to the economy?

Interesting is it not?

Mr R Marshall

Elmville Avenue