Pension strike could be a money saver

THE supposed £500 million cost of the proposed public sector strike next Wednesday is just bunkum (your report, 25 November).

The primary basis, according to Treasury officials, for the calculation of the £500m figure is the cost to parents of schools being closed next Wednesday.

The bulk of people who take their children to school are one of the following – unemployed, retired (grandparents), those taking a day off on the strike day, or parents who already pay for childcare. Net cost to the taxpayer: zero.

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This leaves us with a small number of people who will stay at home and won’t get paid as a result.

On the other hand, if you take the government’s worst case scenario where 2.6 million people go on strike, the saving to the public purse is vast. The average public sector worker’s salary is £22,902 (source ONS).

If we assume they work for 260 days a year this equates to salary of £88.08 a day on average. Times by 2.6 million gives you a saving for the public purse of around £230m.

On top of this there is the saving from a one-day reduction in qualifying service that counts towards their pensions (how perverse!), but I would need more space to show the workings for this.

My only concern is that Danny A, David C and George O will read this and realise strikes by public sector workers could be a new strategy to reduce the burgeoning deficit.

Andrew SR Gordon

Craiglockhart View