Pension strike comment was empty rhetoric

I CAN scarcely believe I have just seen a column in the Herald entitled ‘less attitude, more gratitude’.

How can it be that your roving reporter is allowed to file such ill-informed and ignorant bilge? Perhaps you could draw her attention to your own account of the dispute in the same paper.

Ms Field seems to think that those who have fought through centuries of collective action to improve the working conditions of the mainly low paid and part time should be grateful that they are not being treated as badly as the those who are the worst treated.

I will not dignify her efforts to constantly set the public against private workers etc suffice to say though, I hope that the conditions of the worst employees of any sector are not the benchmark by which she believes we should all be measured.

She should know that the axe has been busy in the public sector too. For example £20 million is being cut from Children’s Service in East Sussex.

These cuts she will be pleased to know affect some of the most vulnerable children; and have also left many empty desks.

I am particularly aggrieved that she could not have the courtesy of at least considering the pension issues that has lead to the strike.

If she had, she would have immediately identified that the economic argument being proffered is empty rhetoric.

As far as I know, it has been the case that the cost to the taxpayer of those drawing a pension is dwarfed by the amount paid as tax relief on private pension contributions.

Even if you believe that the hard-pressed taxpayer is somehow unfairly providing mythological copper-bottomed pensions to retired public sector workers, the amount of so-called savings suggested are misguided since the intended changes to the pension will mean that the contributors will not have enough to live on when they retire, thus become a future burden on the state.

Contrary to the distortions of the right wing moanalots the average pension of most in the public sector is modest.

Principally the pensions is intended to form an income with the state pension so as to allow a reasonable degree of dignity in old age.

It is true that the average wage in the public sector is higher than the private; but this attests less to the spiralling wage demands of public workers but more to the fact that the lowest paid have been privatised.

I am deeply sorry that successive government actions and poor regulations and accounting codes have decimated private sector pensions, but this injustice is not addressed by seeking to criticise public workers.

So perhaps rather than gratitude instead of attitude Ms Field can consider information over ignorance.

RUPERT FRANKLIN,

Old Town.