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Solidarity with the TUC Day of Action for Pensions Justice
The Workers’ Group in the European Economic and Social Committee sends its support and solidarity for the TUC Day of Action on 30 November which will see more than twenty British unions and over two million public service workers take industrial action in defence of their pensions.
In line with what is happening across Europe, public sector workers in the UK are being punished for a crisis they did not cause. The British government is now seeking, as part of its wider austerity policies, to make public sector workers pay more in pension contributions, work longer before they can claim their pension and yet get less money when they finally retire. Furthermore, for workers in non-funded pay-as-you-go schemes, the government will be using the additional contributions to fund general government expenditure and not pensions at all. The additional contributions are in fact a tax on public service workers.
Group II condemns attempts to create antagonism between workers in the public and private sectors. The majority of private sector workers in the UK no longer have an occupational pension scheme and will have to rely on the basic state pension and private pension investments when they retire. Group II believes that a decent pension is a fundamental right for all workers that goes to the very core of the European Social Model.