Ministers look after themselves - surprise, surprise
Posted by Jamie at 8 38 PM on Saturday, October 3
PAMPERED ministers have had their pensions secretly boosted with millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash.
Their pension pot has grown by more than 30 PER CENT in just one year — leaving them open to charges of hypocrisy over promises to crack down on bloated pensions paid to other public sector workers.
Official figures, hidden in Whitehall departments’ accounts, reveal the pension pot for 100 government ministers now stands at £9MILLION . . . UP from 6.8MILLION last year.
The average pension pot for a minister is now £94,000 — and that’s on top of their gold-plated MP’s pension which sees them rake in £30,000-a-year after 20 years’ service.
The MPs’ pension scheme, one of the most generous in the country, costs taxpayers £13million a year. Ministers’ pensions, which they can claim when they stand down, are also inflation-proof and calculated on their average salary over the time they were in office.
And rule changes that come into force next year — when current ministers look set to be booted out of office in a general election — mean they can claim it from the age of 55.
The revelation comes just days after ministers pledged to CUT pensions for council chiefs — and after Gordon Brown promised to SLASH public spending.
Communities Secretary John Denham told the Labour Party conference on Tuesday that entitlements for high-earning council bosses would be curbed curb costs.
He told the party faithful: “We all know it’s all got out of hand and it’s just got to stop.”
But Denham has built up a ministerial pension pot of £142,000, meaning he will get a total pension of around £40,000-a-year. Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman has a pension pot worth £304,000 meaning her total pension will be around £60,000.
As Prime Minister, Gordon Brown is entitled to a pension of half his £132,000-a-year salary — which comes on top of his £64,766 MP wage. He has turned that down saying his pension should be worked out in the same way as other ministers. But he has yet to change the law to make that happen.
Lib Dem Pension spokesman Lord Oakeshott, who uncovered the figures, fumed: “Ministers sit on their ballooning pension pots in their inflation-proofed bunkers while millions of families watch their private pensions shot to shreds.
“Harriet Harman can retire on a full pension when she is 60 next year, like top civil servants for the next 35 years. But the state pension age is on its way up to 68 for both men and women.
“Its high time public sector fat cats took their fair share of Britain’s pension pain.”