As the Public Sector strike draws nigh, a Biased BBC reader generously provides us with the sort of insight which the State Broadcaster conspicuously ignores;


If you want irrefutable evidence of the real cost of public sector pensions a public sector trade union has unwittingly provided a convincing example of the mammoth cost from its annual accounts. An example that is substantive, not speculative.

In accordance with an agreement with their staff trade union, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA – 46,000 members) provides pension benefits for its employees comparable to those of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). NIPSA, has however to invest its employer contributions with insurance companies to obtain comparable superannuation benefits for its retiring staff.

In Northern Ireland, and in GB (with its Principal Civil Service Superannuation Scheme or PCSPS), civil servants who joined before 2008 contribute nothing toward their pensions which are unfunded, inflation-proofed and based on final salary. NIPSA’s employees are however, like those civil servants, required to pay a contribution of 1.5% (refundable) towards the cost of dependents’ benefits.

In its 2009 valuation, NIPSA’s actuary assessed a shortfall in its pension scheme funding of some £1.9m and recommended the employer contribution rate should be 39.3% from 2010 with a contribution of £210,000 p.a. to recover the funding shortfall. The employer rate, previously 40.8%. (see 2009 accounts) was insufficient to bring the scheme out of deficit!

Presumably other trade unions who match civil service pensions for their staff are experiencing the same shortfalls despite an employer contribution of 40% of staff salaries.

So there you have indisputable evidence-based proof: We pay at least 40% on top of a civil servant’s salary to provide them with their pensions and lump sums (3 x annual pension rate).

And they are on strike because they are being asked to pay 3% more.

In fairness it should be 35% more. “

I do hope the BBC will ensure that important fact based data like this is properly reflected in the debate and my thanks again for the contribution.

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  1. Will says:

    Yes the BBC’s repeated line is that the taxpayer cost of the pensions is “affordable” as Hutton suggested a possible future scenario where the cost as a proportion of GDP didn’t rise.

    The BBC ignore that the projection just means that they are not becoming MORE unaffordable than at present (or that Hutton has himself stated the projection was not a settled & firm estimate)


  2. fred bloggs says:

    Well the corrupt bBC are at it again.  All polls show that there is only minor public support for the strike, about 25%. So ther bBC do their own poll and get 60%, however they ask the question ‘do you think the public sector has the right to stike over their pension.  bBC corrupt from Thomson to the bottom.


    • fred bloggs says:

      I hope you like the irony that it was a bBC program who showed exactly how you fiddle a poll. 


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Is that really the question they asked, and have spun belief in the right to strike as supporting it?


      • fred bloggs says:

        Fair point so here is the question:  ‘Public sector are justified in going on strike over changes to their pensions’  Comeres the polsters also did one for LBC and they got the 25% result.  Notice what it does not state, ‘do you think public employees should get guaranteed indexed pensions far better than the private sector’ or ‘Current public pensions will take an ever increasing portion of national taxation unless corrected.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          But it’s not dishonest spin from the BBC.  I have to wonder, though, if everyone who answered yes has been influenced by BBC reporting on the topic.


    • Kendall Massey says:

      The BBC and ComRes have made a major blunder.

      As you say, they asked the question:

      “Public workers are justified in going on strike over changes to their pensions?”

      I suspect that the majority of people in the Britain DO NOT agree to this strike.

      However, call me a geek but I am a stick-in-the-mud for getting things right and, in law they are of course justified. Many others would have taken this question literally as I would have done and answered “yes” even though they meant “no” – if you know what I mean.

      A clue to the BBC’s guilt (and presumably the fact that someone has pointed out this error to them) is the fact that links to it from the BBC front news page have been dropped. Try finding it using BBC links.

      I feel yet another BBC apology coming.


  3. Cassandra King says:

    Of course the union barons have solid gold pensions, once again they are leading the lemmings off the cliff and into disaster, they are doing this not because they care about their members(useful idiots) the union barons didnt a shit for the workers in the 60s/70s when they destroyed British industry but when British industry collapsed those union barons walked away rich and well looked after.

    Today the union barons have gained control of a new army of useful idiots and they are directing them in the new war, f*ck the people and f*ck the consequences of what they are doing, the strike leaders dont care, they are well insulated. A new economic war against the government using the methods of the union barons of the 60s/70s who used to holiday in the USSR and found that nightmare to teir heaven on earth.

    Never mind that state worker pensions are going to cripple the UK before long, it isnt even really about that, the deal on offer is far too generous, the union barons have rigged up a strike vote utterly determined to wage an economic sabotage war. If the regime had any guts they would prosecute the strike ring leaders or sue them for damamges resulting from the strike, in fact a right wing government would pass a law enabling anyone who suffers from strike activity the right to sue the union barons for compensation.


  4. cjhartnett says:

    Pleasing to see the BBC rediscovering the union contacts book again after so many years.
    That Alan Johnson bottled the needed pension reforms means it is now only worse for all of us, but we never hear about that.
    That the FBU presumed to take on their political tools was never seen as anything but treacherous and putting the public at risk-yet now, it`s the Tories ,then it is alright.
    That last line-that we might get pertinent facts-was clearly ironical wasn`t it? The BBC don`t want facts to cloud a clear narrative.
    Why the hell the Tories don`t shut them down shows them as not fit to govern…for they don`t have either principles or fight.
    Guessing that they reckon that Balls will win it for them with every appearance he makes…lazy cruise control Tories need to get some fire in their bellies.


  5. Will says:

    Labour leaning YouGov boss still produces a much different poll for yesterday’s Sunday Times-

    On the strikes, 50% opposed headteachers taking stike action (38% supported it), 49% opposed teachers taking strike action (41% supported), 51% opposed civil servants taking strike action (39% supported). The YouGov poll had a cross break by public sector and private sector employment – as one might expect, public sector workers are more likely to support strike action, private sector employees are more likely to oppose it though the difference is less black and white as one might expect. For example, public sector employees support the civil servants’ strike action by 53% to 39%, private sector employees oppose it by 56% to 34%


  6. London Calling says:

    What validity in a poll like this –  Do you think people should be allowed to get away with murder? if 40% of the public were murderers.
    Better they had asked those without pensions whether they supported paying more tax to fund public sector indexed pensions, such as DG Mark Thompsons multi-million pension pot.


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Unfortunately, most of the police support the strike 100%, as they’re also angry about pension reductions. They literally can’t grasp the fact that it was Labour who promised them something that couldn’t exist, and blame the current Government instead.  Just like the BBC.

    Add that to the latest BBC finger-pointing at them for the August riots, and it’s a recipe for unhappiness.  It seems like the BBC is literally sowing the seeds for discord.


  8. My Site (click to edit) says:

    ROBERT BROWN; Robert Maxwell stole millions from the Mirror pension fund, probably had a day of reckoning when in Israel, and slipped over the side of his yacht in the Atlantic. The one-eyed mentalist from Kirkaldy and his side-kick Balls ‘stole’ upwards of 150 BILLION from pension funds with the stroke of a pen. Brown is in line for a £70000 pension, is making £35000 a pop on each wretched speech he makes to idiot companies that humour him, has only attended the House on a handful of occasions and spends the rest of the time writing useless books. Kircaldy labour voters must be zombies. Brown has perpertrated such a massive crime of wilful mis-handling of the public finances that he should be tried and jailed for a very long time, some hope. If i ever saw him in the street, thought i could get away with it, i would do a ‘John Felton’ on him, and damn his black, wretched soul. That’s why the wretched public sector should not get a penny more.


    • Span Ows says:

      ‘John Felton’…did he ram someone with a bus, reverse over them, run round and set them on fire, refrain from pissing on him then chop the head off and put it on a spike at the city gates?

      No?…well it’s not a John Felton for me then.


      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        ROBERT BROWN; I like that Span Owls, no, Felton was a young officer when in 1628 he stabbed the unpopular 1st Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers to death in Portsmouth. Villiers was hugely incompetent both as a military leader [ La Rochelle disaster] and in life. Felton was owed backpay and promotion was tardy, as with many others, and he was wounded at Rochelle. Seeing the Dukes favourtism with the King, he acted, stabbing him. When after his hanging at Tyburn his body was sent back to Portsmouth, his bodies display backfired on the Crown when the people venerated it. Watch your back Brown stuff!


  9. Teddy Bear says:

    2 good articles reflecting on how absurd is the BBC poll showing public support for this strike.

    Fact check: does the nation really support the November 30 strikes?
    The country is being held to ransom by Wednesday’s strikes


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      it was remarkable to listen to Sian Williams?? this morning harping on the 61% on the BBC poll; at least the guy being interviewed commented that * of course there are other polls suggesting differing figures*.’

      This thinking they get it about right lark is straying too far when it maifests in pure propaganda for the BBC’s aganda interests.


  10. ltwf1964 says:

    UNISON have an ad in today’s belfast News Letter advertising pickets tomorrow at various hospitals

    it’s clear UNISION don’t get irony

    below where the picket lines are listed is the caption

    ” coaches will then stop at the following pick-up points to collect those attending the rally in Belfast”

    don’t worry about the fact that tens of thousands of people will have no public transport tomorrow-including many I’m sure who would rely on it to get to hospital appointments