The Daily Telegraph today reported that the Health Secretary has written to the Treasury minister Danny Alexander criticising the government’s reforms of the public sector pensions.
Andrew Lansley had written the letter to the Trasury minister two months ago, the newspaper reported citing a leaked letter, and said Lansley warned that the coalition government’s “commitment to maintain gold standard pensions” will not be met if reforms outlined in June were implemented.
The new proposals could potentially encourage public sector employees to stop contributing for pensions, which “would increase pressure on the social security budget” as people depend more on state benefits for retirement, the daily reported.
Lansley has warned that parts of new proposals are inappropriate” and “unrealistic”, and would hit female health workers particularly hard.
“”We face a real risk, if we push too hard, of industrial action involving staff groups delivering key public services”, Lansley is reported to have written in his letter.
“There is also the risk that lower paid staff in particular will simply opt out, leaving (HM Treasury) with reduced receipts in the short term while still having to pay for past pension promises,” Lansley added.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposed pension reforms have already faced stiff opposition in the UK with the country’s trade unions pledging coordinated actions, including striking work to oppose Cameron’s move, while the Prime Minister says the present system is no longer sustainable.
The country has already witnessed such disruptions when 750,000 teachers and civil servants across the country walked out forcing the closure of many schools and a small number of courts and public offices.
Although Lansley’s couldn’t be reached for comments, a spokesman said more details on NHS reforms will be released shortly.