Superannuation Bill

Memorandum submitted by James Glover (SU 55)

1. I write to submit evidence to the Public Bill Committee with respect to the proposed changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS), as contained in the Superannuation Bill 2010/2011.

2. I am a public servant, working at the South West Regional Development Agency. My employment at the Agency commenced in October 2006. Prior to this TUPE transfer I worked for Defra starting in May 2001.

3. I am a loyal, proud, dedicated and committed employee, strongly believing that a consistent economic strategy applied at a regional level, simply put, works; the model applied in Germany being the example on which to draw such a conclusion.

4. Over my time at the Agency, morale has been generally very high, reflecting, I believe, a satisfied workforce, working for a good employer; at present however, morale is at an all time low (not that this has affected the stoic professionalism with which work continues to be conducted), for two reasons:

i. the Regional Development Agencies are to be abolished.

ii. proposals to alter the CSCS, limiting the value of benefits to which civil/public servants are entitled, should they be made redundant, are under review.

5. As a fairly average employee (for example, i earn slightly above the UK average wage) who will be affected by the proposed changes to the CSCS, I ask the committee to consider the following in their deliberations:

i. Why is the Superannuation Bill 2010/2011 classified as a Money Bill for its passage through Parliament? My understanding is that Money Bills are only intended to be used for revenue-raising measures, which leads me to believe that the Superannuation Bill’s has its current classification to speed its passage into law, and thereby circumvent due Parliamentary process.

ii. Are other means of reducing the national budget deficit (such as collecting avoided tax revenues, or introducing a financial transaction tax), which I accept must be tackled, being pursued with such vigour? To ordinary civil/public servants, this would not appear to be the case, and gives the impression we are being unfairly targeted.

iii. It has been suggested by the Secretary of State that some civil/public servants have, or will, benefit to the value of up to 6 times their salary, should they be made redundant, under the current CSCS terms. How many civil/public servants would receive such benefits, and what percentage is this of all those employed in the public sector?

iv. How many meetings have the Cabinet Office sought to arrange with the Council of Civil Service Unions in order to advance discussions in order to reach a negotiated settlement on changes to the CSCS?

v. Further to the above, what proposals have been tabled by the Cabinet Office, if such meetings have taken place?

vi. What other options to tackle public sector spending were considered before the option to reduce the benefits as appear in the current CSCS, were agreed upon. Deferring payments of accrued benefits, with the agreement of the employee to whom compensation would be paid, may be one such option, i.e. making the payment when country’s economy is stronger.

vii. Does the committee consider that the calibre of staff working for the public sector at large will be adversely affected in the medium to long term by the current proposals to change the CSCS?

viii. One justification noted for making changes to the CSCS, is that it will bring the scheme more in line with those in the private sector. What research has been conducted into private sector compensation schemes for that justification to be used?

ix. Further to the above, which private sector organisations have been used in comparisons and how were they selected?

6. I do hope that the above such considerations/questions (along, I am sure, with many more besides), will help the committee come to a fair and balanced decision as to whether the proposals in the Superannuation Bill 2010/2011 continue to progress through Parliament in their current form.

September 2010