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Civil Service Pensions

Volume 546: debated on Wednesday 13 June 2012

We are committed to ensuring that the reform of public sector pensions means that public servants will continue to receive pensions that are among the very best available. These now provide a fair deal for public service workers while being an affordable deal for the taxpayer and a good deal for the country that is sustainable in the long term. We have spent months negotiating a new scheme that was put to the civil service unions some months ago. I am pleased that four unions have now accepted the proposals.

I am sure that the 85% of the work force in my constituency who work in the private sector will welcome that response given that their pensions are, on average, far less generous than those available in the public sector, which they are also expected to fund. Will my right hon. Friend give the House an estimate of the sum that the taxpayer would be expected to pay for public sector pensions over the next 25 years if these reforms did not take place?

It is perfectly clear that the reforms that we put in place across the public sector will save the taxpayer tens of billions of pounds over coming decades. The Office for Budget Responsibility will make a more precise calculation in its next long-term outlook.