Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, welcomes Andrew Lansley's criticism of public sector pension reform and says his position aligns with that of the unions:
"This is a letter that could have been written by any of the union negotiators. Mr Lansley endorses almost every point the unions have made. He confirms that the government is grabbing money from public sector workers to pay down a deficit they did nothing to create, even at a time when their pay is frozen for two years and many are facing job losses.
"Most tellingly he says the government is trying to take so much out of public sector pensions and impose so many extra costs on workers that there is a very real danger that staff will simply opt out of their pensions.
"This would have the perverse consequence of making the deficit worse, as the government will still have to pay current pensions but will get no benefit from the contributions of those who leave their schemes."