Nick Clegg’s comments on pensions are misleading and unhelpful, says FDA

15 June 2010
(For immediate release)

Comments by Nick Clegg about "unreformed gold-plated" public sector pensions are misleading and a distortion of the facts, the FDA said today. The FDA is the union representing senior managers and professionals in public service.

Jonathan Baume, FDA general secretary, said: "Nick Clegg's comments are unhelpful and frankly misleading.

"Earlier in the year, the National Audit Office explained that the cost of public sector pensions as a proportion of GDP would peak in the short term, but their overall cost would decline over the following 40 years. This is partly a consequence of reforms, which unions have already agreed, to help manage costs, including closing the civil service final salary scheme to new joiners.

"It is important that the independent pensions commission, which the Government is committed to setting up, is not prejudiced by Ministers delivering simplistic sound bites. This is a complex issue and there are no short-term savings to be made.

"It has been clear for some time that the real scandal in the UK is the near collapse of decent pension provision for workers in the private sector. The Government must accept that it needs to act on this scandal, and not simply pursue a policy of 'misery for all' by undermining public sector pensions as well."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.

Oliver Rowe, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.