PM confirms public sector pensions cut

THE PRIME Minister yesterday confirmed the pensions of existing public sector workers will be cut, as he defended the coalition Budget in a tetchy question and answer session with voters.

Cameron said the bill for public sector pensions was too high and that schemes would become less favourable for existing members of staff as well as new ones.

Answering questions alongside Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Cameron said some public sector fat cats retire on gold-plated pensions worth £70,000 a year, costing taxpayers “a huge amount of money”.

He said the pensions of high-paid civil servants would be reformed first, but warned of changes across the spectrum to bring them in line with “rewards in the private sector, which have gone down dramatically recently”.

“What’s happened in the private sector is many people’s pensions have changed. There are no longer final salary schemes or they’re having to put more money in... it’s those things to make sure they’re affordable,” he added.

Cameron added that accrued rights would be safe, but that public sector workers were likely to contribute more and receive less in the future.

Meanwhile, the coalition leaders were repeatedly lambasted for hiking VAT despite indicating they had no plans to do so in the run-up to the general election.

Clegg, who campaigned against a “Tory VAT bombshell” in the run up to the election, bore the brunt of anger over the decision to hike sales tax

Summing up the opinions of several questioners, host Nick Robinson said: “People from the Lib Dem manifesto got the sense that you would raise billions from the wealthy, many more billions in a bank tax, a mansion tax, billions in capital gains tax. Billions more than the government has actually done.”