Opinion Former Article

NUT: "We look to the Court of Appeal to protect pensioners against this theft of pensions."

The NUT’s legal appeal against the Government’s decision to change the way public sector pensions are ‘up rated’ will be heard by the Court of Appeal on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st February.

The NUT is asking the Court of Appeal to agree that the CPI inflation index is not an appropriate inflation measure for pension indexation according to the terms of the law and that the Government acted unlawfully by deciding to stop using the RPI inflation index simply to save money.

Commenting on the appeal, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government’s action is unfair to pensioners and its efforts to hide behind obscure legislation have fooled no-one. We look to the Court of Appeal to protect pensioners against this theft of their pensions.”

END pr19-2012

For further details contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061

Notes for editors:

The NUT and other organisations representing pensioners and public sector workers are appealing against the High Court’s refusal to rule unlawful the Government’s switch from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the annual up rating in line with inflation of various public sector pensions and benefits.

The appeal proceeds on two key points. The first is that the legislation (s150 Social Security Administration Act 1992), which requires the Government to review the annual increase in the general level of prices, does not permit the use of the CPI inflation index. That index does not focus solely on increases in prices but also incorporates changes in behaviour due to price increases. The effect is that the CPI index will almost always be lower than the RPI index which focuses solely on actual rises in prices. The second point relies on the principle that Government Ministers who are exercising statutory powers must only take into account proper and relevant considerations but that in this case the Government were just out to make savings. One of the three High Court judges, Mr Justice McComb, accepted that there was a considerable body of evidence before the Court that showed that savings were the prime motivation for the Government and the other supposed benefits of CPI came a distant second.
 

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