Thursday, 10 March 2011

Back once again, it's the renegade master…

Well, I managed a whole 11 hours out of the office before some magnetic force dragged me back. On the agenda today: a subject meeting, a meeting with the Great High Panjandrum on behalf of a union colleague, and maybe even some actual academic work.

Today's news featured the woeful intelligence that public sector pensions are going to be a) lower b) more expensive and c) be paid much later because apparently we've all been greedy, lazy selfish bastards. As a point of reference, the average weekly pension for a female local government worker is £52 per week (females make up the majority of the public sector workforce).

This has been announced by Lord Hutton. A man who has a pension larger than my salary, a fat expenses account and the polished red leather of the House of Lords on which to park his plushly-upholstered bottom. He's also chairman of the Royal United Services Institute and on the board of Hyperion Power Services Inc. So not a man who will notice a few quid more or less on his MP and ministerial pensions.

If there is a pension deficit, it needs to be looked at, and if we're all living longer, I don't have a fundamental objection to working a bit longer. But I really do think that being made to pay more and get less on top of contributing for longer is a punch in the face: especially as those at the top never seem to suffer. The deal in the public sector used to be that we'd be paid less than if we worked in the private sector, but we'd get decent retirement benefits. Take that away, and who's going to opt for civil service?

I've had enough. I'm going to spend the afternoon applying for jobs in a hedge fund… I've been nice to you people for long enough. It's time to get a Porsche and really start bankrupting some people.

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