BMA’s blindspot

Nobody likes the idea of a wage or pension cut, or changes to what was a exceedingly generous pension deal, so everyone hopes our doctors will eventually find a resolution to their current financial woes.

However, no matter how good you might think your case, and as other strikers such as miners, dockers, teachers, ambulance staff, firefighters, car workers and a host of other professions have discovered to their cost, strikes are a very good way to discover that in most cases the same services can be obtained elsewhere and at lower cost.

It is a simple truth that before you can arrange a decent pension, you must first have a job.

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Jim Bradley

Thornfield Terrace

Selkirk

Had the British Medical Association and its supporters concentrated on the outrageous generosity of civil service, MPs and MSPs’ retirement schemes compared with the coalition’s NHS pension reforms, it would probably have enjoyed total support from both its own members and the public (your report, 21 June).

Instead, it has muddied the waters by ignoring demographics, the excessive GPs’ settlement under New Labour, the high pay of all UK doctors, the excellent transitional arrangements for long-serving staff, the fact that junior staff will still receive far higher pensions than the private sector can afford for its employees, the long-term unsustainability of the £2 billion “surplus” of current contributions over pension payments, and the incredible guarantee of no further change for the next 25 to 30 years – as many independent experts have highlighted.

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews