Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by Matthew Meredith (SU 02)

I am a member of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and I work in The Planning Inspectorate.

In the event of redundancy I am covered by the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS) and would therefore have a "special interest" in the debate that took place on 7 September in Parliament along with the next stages of the process.  As such I am emailing you as requested on your website ( ).

As I’m sure you’re aware the Cabinet Office Minister the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP introduced new legislation on 15 July to cap redundancy payments for civil servants. This means that in the event of redundancy, which is looking more likely with the savage spending cuts the government is making, my colleagues and I working hard in constituencies across the country will receive a vastly reduced compensation payment.  Currently payments are based on pay, age, length of service and are subject to a cap of three years pay in most circumstances.  Of course, for most people the cash value is much less than this.

The new legislation will cap payments at a maximum of 12 months salary for a compulsory redundancy and 15 months salary for a voluntary redundancy.  The Superannuation Bill, that the government hopes will be ruled as a money bill by the Speaker to allow for a speedier legislative process will be debated on Tuesday 7 September. My colleagues and I are anxious that introducing the bill in this way will not allow time for the requisite scrutiny and parliamentary debate.  This is a real concern to me and many of my colleagues.

I recognise the seriousness of the financial situation the nation is in, however my union and I do not believe that low paid workers should be penalised.  We do however, believe that public servants should have our contracts honoured, especially as many of us have dedicated our lives to public service and don’t receive the generous salaries or pensions often quoted – in fact an average civil or public servant receives only £22,850 per year and a pension of £4,200 per year – hardly the gold-plated sums the media and many politicians state.

September 2010