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BeeHive  >  BeeLines  >  2009  >  Jan  >  No Minister

No Minister

I don't know if you have a spare £43,000 hanging around the house or not, but from an Institute of Economic Affairs report I've just read I'd say it'd probably be handy if you have.

The report, called 'Sir Humprey's Legacy', reckons that the officialgovernment estimate of the unfunded public sector pension liabilities is a bit on the low side at £835 billion and that it is probably nearer the £1,100 billion mark1.That's equivalent to £43,0002 for every family in Britain; or to put that another way "Blimey!"

You'll know that unlike private sector pensions, which are required by law to be backed by hard cash, the pension promises made to the government's own employees will be paid for on the never-never by being taken out of future taxes.Or to put that another way "Ouch!"

The report, which to be honest makes frightening reading, reveals that the liabilities of the NHS scheme for example have actually increased by 20.2% compound per annum for the last five years3.I guess I'd defy anyone to read that bit without experiencing an involuntary sharp intake of breath.That increase, of course has come as a direct consequence of the increases in earnings for NHS employees over the last few years.

There's a link to the report here ( for those of you with a strong enough constitution to read it.

In a horribly prophetic cartoon that I had published a few weeks ago in a strip I draw called 'Penpushers' Progress' (where I try to document this stuff for future generations) I accidentally touched on this subject.That week's strip (whichis reproduced here for your idle amusement) today looks a bit too close to the truth to be funny.....

New Car


31 January 2008


1 and 3. Institute of Economic Affairs, Sir Humphrey's Legacy: An Update,†January 2008†

2. Lansons Communications,†Conservative Party press release 30 January 2008

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