Pensions row

A STUDY by Taxpayer Scotland has highlighted a £4 billion black hole in Scotland’s local authorities’ pension schemes, (your report, 13 April). The 32 councils have pension assets of £18bn but liabilities of £22bn.

This mess is a result of not just the falling stock markets but also the gold-plated pensions lavished on public sector staff, in particular the higher paid. Some senior staff have been allowed to “retire” early with generous severance packages and some were then re-employed as consultants.

Already, 20 per cent of the money that the public pays in council tax goes to this pension fund. Do the councils expect the taxpayer to pick up more of the bill for their pension generosity?

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Changes must be made and councils could start by substantially increasing the pension contributions of those earning more than £40,000. Further, all new public sector employees should be given a less costly (to the taxpayer) pension scheme as is now the norm in the private sector, where final salary schemes are now rarer than hens’ teeth.

Clark Cross

Springfield Road

Linlithgow, West Lothian