Jill Hope

Northamptonshire County Councillor for Sixfields - a Lib Dem campaigner working all year round, not just at election time Learn more

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LEGAL challenge against pensions shift

by Jill Hope on 29 April, 2011

I AM pleased to hear that a legal challenge is to be launched against the coalition Government’s plans for up-rating local government pensions.

Until recently, these pensions were increased each year in line with the retail price index (RPI). From the tax year 2011-12, they will be increased in-line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is expected to be up to 1.5% lower each year than the RPI.

This is totally unacceptable for people who have invested money, often over their entire working lives, into a scheme which promised linking to the RPI. In my view the CPI does not accurately reflect the true cost of living for pensioners. The CPI makes what I consider to be inaccurate assumptions about spending habits.

Moreover it is a form of theft from hard-pressed pensioners, who have invested their money into schemes promising links to the RPI. It is one thing to change it for future pensioners, but quite different to change it for those already in schemes. Just as tax changes are not normally retrospective, pension changes should not interfere with long-standing contracts.

I wish the legal challenge the best of luck, and I will do all I can to ensure its success.

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