Author Archives: Janice Turner

Opinion: Liberal Democrats’ principled decision gives civil servants continued workplace protection they need

PCS picketOne of the announcements at Nick Clegg’s press conference on Monday was his categorical rejection of Tory ministers’ attempts to abolish check-off across government.

What’s check-off? This isn’t a Michael Gove attempt to ban a celebrated Russian playwright, it’s a mundane administrative convenience which allows members of trade unions to pay their union subscription by getting their employer to deduct it from their wage packet and send it on for them.

Union members like check-off because it’s the easiest way to keep their subs up to date. Trade unions like it because …

photo by: secretlondon123
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: The most positive change for private sector pensions in half a century

webb 01The announcement in the Queen’s Speech of a new ‘Collective Defined Contribution’ pension is an historic achievement on the part of Lib Dem Pensions Minister Steve Webb, which shows that pensions are only safe in Liberal hands. It will bring about better quality pensions for millions in the private sector workforce. It’s taken him four years to arrive at this historic moment which starts to rectify the damage the Tories and Labour wrought on the retirement hopes of ordinary private sector workers.

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Opinion: Pensions move could negate the whole point of pensions saving

George Osborne’s announcement that people with  defined contribution (money purchase) pensions could take the lot as a lump sum on retirement kills several birds with one stone. First, it most definitely attracts the grey vote because the idea of getting your hands on your whole pension pot on retirement is very appealing.

But this also looks like a reaction to mounting evidence, including from the Financial Conduct Authority no less, that annuities are not good value for money. Defined Contribution schemes allow retirees to buy an annuity (your pension) on the open market, but the schemes provide a default annuity which …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 29 Comments

Opinion: Time for a grown-up workplace partnership

The Tories hate trade unions. In the context of the Social Liberal Forum’s conference on 13 July in Manchester, with the theme “Ownership and Democracy – where does power lie?” the Tories’ policies regarding the unions have been to try to remove as much power and as many rights from them as possible, in order to free up company bosses to use their power as they see fit without the need to discuss their plans with the workforce.

The problem with strengthening corporate power while weakening trade union and individual rights is that it allows a return to working conditions …

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Race equality – a new Liberal Democrat approach: SLF/EMLD Conference takes place soon

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, is the keynote speaker at one of the most important race equality events this party has held in recent years. Organised jointly by the Social Liberal Forum and Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, it takes place from noon on Saturday 1st June at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre, 25 New Inn Yard London EC2A 3EA. The conference will be of immense help to all those who realise that, particularly in London, the ethnic minority vote will be key to whether we sink or swim in the next elections.

Race equality is …

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Opinion: both private and public sector pensions need improving

There are two fundamental problems with the analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies of the current negotiations on public sector pensions.

Firstly, the IFS compares public sector pension provision with that of the private sector and implies that the inevitable disparity has to be rebalanced by cutting the public sector rather than improving private sector provision.

Secondly, they choose to ignore the approximately £100 billion saved by moving from RPI to CPI and then says that if you exclude £100 billion and the fact that retired public sector workers’ pensions are going to have lower increases than before, they are better off.

But this …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 14 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo 11th Feb - 12:03am
    Thomas yes , I agree but was questioning the level of support and not wondering in what way we could monopolise things , by any...
  • User AvatarPaul Holmes 10th Feb - 11:32pm
    Ruth -doesn't your example illustrate the flawed reasoning here however? Men make up 20% of Primary Teachers not because they are discriminated against when applying...
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 10th Feb - 11:30pm
    Chris_sh - Horse-trading is just a rude word for negotiation and compromise, which are essential for adult politics. It works well when parties have a...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 10th Feb - 11:29pm
    Caron Lindsay 10th Feb '16 - 10:40pm No, inbetween.
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 10th Feb - 11:25pm
    The process is accelerating. Sir Winston Churchill thought that referendums were undemocratic, the sort of thing that Mussolini would do. Edward Heath thought the same...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 10th Feb - 10:40pm
    Can I just say to @tpfkar that the Holyrood and Welsh Assembly elections are NOT local elections. They are our general election.