Is the IoD/IEA Public Sector Pensions Commission independent?
The short answer is no. The vast majority of its members have an easily traced and extensive track record of opposing public sector pensions. The Institute of Directors has a well established position on public sector pensions. It is set out in a paper by the secretary to the Commission Corin Taylor Pensions Apartheid.
It is worth pausing here to say just how offensive the term “pensions apartheid” is.
Apartheid was a detestable political system that ruined the lives of generations of South Africans. It has a precise meaning in international law. The crime of apartheid is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”
What kind of person thinks that this is an appropriate metaphor for a debate about pensions policy?
Almost every other members of the Commission is on public record endorsing the same analysis and approach.
Vice-Chair Professor Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs:
In this week’s Pensions White Paper the Government ignored the real scandal in the pensions sector – the hidden burden of public sector pension liabilities. Public sector workers are being promised gold plated pensions whilst workers in the private sector, who will ultimately face whopping tax increases to finance public sector pensions, struggle to make sufficient provision for themselves.” Source
Ros Altmann, has a helpful section on her website where she lists her publications on public sector pensions.
Andrew Lilico is a former IoD staff member and now works for Policy Exchange the publishers of the pamphlet by Neil Record referenced below and many other attacks on public sector pensions.
Neil Record, Institute of Economic Affairs, has written extensively on public sector pensions including Public Sector Pensions: The UK’s Second National Debt Policy Exchange 2009
The Government has allowed public sector pension liabilities to run out of control, with the Treasury spending contributions received for the next generation’s pensions to the pay the current generation of pensioners. The Government’s accounting for these pensions has been arbitrary and opaque, making it all but impossible to understand.” http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/assets/Pub_Sec_Pensions_PR.pdf
Malcolm Small is a senior policy adviser at the Institute of Directors and the author of the IoD’s paper Road Map for Retirement Reform 2009 http://www.iod.com/intershoproot/eCS/Store/en/pdfs/policy_paper_rrr09.pdf
Public sector pension schemes are not sustainable.”
I know and like some of these people, but the idea that this is an independent commission is laughable.
When the TUC set up its Commission on Vulnerable Employment we did not proclaim it as independent from the TUC, even though it included employers, not just our mates.