The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) can today reveal for the first time a substantial rise in the number of former council staff drawing pensions compared to the number in work and paying into the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The new research also reveals that when the one million deferred members of the scheme (those no longer working at the council but not yet eligible to draw pensions) are considered, the outlook is even more alarming.
The LGPS is much more generous than most private sector pensions. The future of the scheme is bleak unless urgent reforms are made. Previous TPA research has found that the equivalent of £1 of every £5 of Council Tax goes on pensions and that there is a £54 billion black hole in council pension schemes.
The key findings of this research are:
Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:
“The Local Government Pension Scheme faces a bleak future as more and more pensioners claim from a pension pot that fewer and fewer current staff are paying into. Unless changes are made so that the local government workers who will benefit from these pensions pay more of the cost, there is a real risk families struggling to afford much less generous pensions will be left with the bill. Unions and councils need to be realistic and ensure reforms are sufficient to deal with the pressures on the finances of town hall pensions. The Government need to ensure that taxpayers aren’t left with a ticking financial time bomb.”
The abolition of the UK’s eight Regional Development Agencies (RDA) was always going to cost more in the short term, but taxpayers expected to save money in the longer term. But the Daily Mail has revealed this week that former RDA bosses received substantial pay-offs only to walk right into other taxpayer-funded top jobs.
Figures released in their final accounts show that taxpayers have picked up the bill to fund generous pay-offs for staff at the now defunct agencies. The average pay-out was almost £33,000, but some individuals trousered much fatter wads of taxpayers’ cash Continue Reading
As councils across the UK look for more imaginative ways to make savings, sharing senior management with neighbouring authorities is increasingly common. Local authorities sharing senior management and Chief Executives now include: South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse; South Northamptonshire and Cherwell; and Havant and East Hampshire.
Unfortunately for taxpayers in Bridgend, their council has not bothered to join the ranks of those sharing senior management. Not only have they opted to replace their outgoing Chief Executive – on an eye-watering six-figure salary – but they have also spent over £30,000 on the process of finding this new bureaucrat-in-chief. Continue Reading
Senior policemen in Avon and Somerset are getting upset at what they see is an unfair shift of taxpayers’ money from their region to areas where police authorities are stockpiling cash.
‘This is about an unfair tax fund transfer, in which residents in this area are paying for other parts of the country to be policed,’ claims Avon and Somerset Police Authority chairman Dr Peter Heffer. ‘The government assesses that we need £20m to meet our needs but instead it is given away to other parts of the country with less need. It is about giving it to those areas that need it. This complex transfer of our taxes means that while areas like ours miss out, other police authorities are building up their cash reserves.’ Continue Reading
The front page of the Guardian today brings to the fore the ever increasing costs of the 717 Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts across the UK which are being used to fund our schools, hospitals and other public facilities.
The total capital value of PFI projects across the country is £54.7 billion. The overall eventual cost is likely to be more than £300 billion by the time those contracts have been paid off, reflecting the cost of capital over their long terms. Our Director Matthew Sinclair has written in more detail on this here. Continue Reading