On Thursday at the Newham Council AGM, Councillors decided unanimously to oppose the Government's attempt to wreck the Local Government Pension Scheme. This is the speech by the proposer of the motion, Cllr Stephen Brayshaw (Majority Group Chief Whip and a Community Lead Councillor). I seconded the motion
"Council, this Tory led government is trying to rob millions of mainly low paid, female workers of their pensions in order to pay for the banking crisis. A crisis brought about, let us never forget by, the ignorance, the greed and swindles of those financiers who fund and support the Tories, not by town hall cleaners, the cooks, the teaching assistants and lollypop ladies.The government are proposing a series of cuts to the Local government pension scheme (LGPS) while at the same time increasing the contributions of staff by over 50%. This will make the scheme completely unaffordable to millions of workers who will be forced to leave the scheme. When large number of people leaves pension schemes then it costs these left in it even more to continue which will result in a vicious circle of further decline and could result in its destruction. If there is no LGPS then the cost of looking after these pensioners will fall directly on the taxpayer.
The LGPS is not in crisis. It has assets of £160 billion. It is cash rich. It receives far, far more than it pays out. The fund is the most important single pension investor in UK PLC. The LGPS makes billions of £ per year for Britain from its overseas investments.Why is this government attacking the LGPS, attacking the pensions and future of millions of ordinary workers? Why are they attacking this vehicle of badly needed investment in our economy? Why are they supporting a policy that will result in further welfare dependency?
The reason is that this is an ideological attack by the Tories. To firstly make our people pay for the bankers crisis and secondly because they hate all forms of collective provision. Out of sheer spite and Daily Mail bigotry they wish to destroy our NHS, our social care, our support of young people, and replace all our public services with privately run for profit provision.Councillors please don’t help this government destroy what is left of decent pension provision in this country. Please save the LGPS and vote for this motion".