Letter: Cap public sector pensions to make system fair for all

In the private sector most final salary schemes have been frozen, since they are unsustainable, and “defined benefit” schemes introduced.

The majority of private pensions schemes are in deficit.

Local authority employees pay far less in contributions than those in the private sector.

Private sector employers paid less in contributions than public sector employers but in this case, council taxpayers are the “employer” and 23 per cent of council tax collected is allocated for pensions.

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Research by the Intergenerational Foundation revealed that more than 12,000 retired public sector staff get a pension of over £50,000 and many more than £100,000.

This is to the detriment of younger colleagues who effectively subsidise them.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance reported that pensions being paid for un-funded public sector schemes costs £25.9 billion and outstrips the £21.4 billion paid in by employees and employers combined and will only get worse.

Union leaders are not only on “gold plated” salaries but also on “gold plated” pensions. Lower paid public sector workers should demand a cap be put on these highly pensioned people and their union leaders.

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The lower paid deserve a better deal, both in salary and pensions.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Put funding boost into housing

Following the Chancellor’s decision to put new money into capital expenditure projects, the Scottish Government has the perfect opportunity to reverse the 34 per cent cut in the housing budget and stimulate jobs in the construction industry.

Coming just one day after statistics showed a 36 per cent slump in new start socially-rented house building, this extra money should be used by the Scottish Government to plug the funding gap and invest in desperately needed socially-rented housing.

Ministers need to ensure that as much of this money as possible finds its way toward shovel-ready projects that can get going immediately – providing more jobs and more homes.

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Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, Scotiabank, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh

Let buses go back to normal too

And it has come to pass. T’was three weeks before Christmas, the barriers were pulled down and ugly obstacles were removed. Holes covered up, tons of earth miraculously disappeared, hardly a lime coated creative to be seen – Hallelujah! Princes Street has been reopened!

But has it? The buses are still trudging nose to tail, along George Street – we, the Christmas shoppers, are still walking endlessly without proper transport. Why aren’t the buses allowed to resume normal services during the Festive Season? Have the public not suffered enough during three consecutive years with no end in sight?

Our “beloved” councillors have a lot to answer for – an obscene amount of tax payers’ wasted money, on trams nobody wanted. Shame on them!

Happy Christmas? If only!

Sylvia M DeLuca, Baberton Park, Edinburgh