Urgent action needed

Philip Booth responds to John Hutton's appointment to the government s pensions commission

Responding to the appointment of John Hutton to the government’s pensions commission, Prof. Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

"Urgent action is desperately needed on public sector pensions. The appointment of John Hutton to the government’s pensions commission is to be welcomed. While strictly speaking no government commission on this issue may be necessary because independent experts are generally agreed about the root of the problem, it is nonetheless good to see the issue being made a priority. I am also pleased to see that the commission will have to report rapidly."

"There is no question that public sector pensions face a crisis point. The underlying contribution rates for these schemes are between 40% and 70% of salary. But, to a large degree this, and the value of the accumulated liabilities (around £1.2 trn), is hidden from the public by antiquated government accounting conventions. The Office for Budget Responsibility should have been more outspoken about this in their report last week."

"The independent Public Sector Pensions Commission, initiated by the Institute of Economic Affairs and supported by the Institute of