Cut out the carping

MR GOWLETT (Letters, May 17) wonders why he should pay for pensions of public service workers. There are two answers.

First, he (acting through his representatives on local and national government) hired those workers at agreed rates of pay and conditions, which included a pension. It’s too late to back out of a contractual agreement when the bill finally comes in. So if he isn’t prepared to accept this responsibility personally, he should be directing his fire at the councillors and members of parliament that he voted for, and not the workers themselves.

Secondly, and more practically, he seems to be unaware that the vast majority of public service workers have paid for their pensions – and have already agreed to further adjustments to cope with increased longevity. In my case, I contributed 12 per cent of my teacher’s salary for 40 years, which invested at interest rates existing for most of that time would cover my pension. Indeed, many local government workers’ schemes, locally managed, are still in surplus.

Unfortunately, the money that I paid in was accepted greedily by the Treasury, who proceeded to spend it on keeping tax rates down, paying grants to students, building motorways, and the like. Unless Mr Gowlett has never benefited under such headings, he is in no position to complain, as he has had the free use of my money. Please can I have that money back without being subjected to ill-informed and

self-righteous carping?

David Wilson

North Walls,