Why is the backbone of country so special

IN YOUR editorial of November 25, you refer to teachers, nurses and civil servants as ‘the backbone of the country’ and that ‘taxing the worse off in our country is always a recipe for disaster’.

With the greatest respect to those professions and the good work they do, they are no more the ‘backbone of the country’ than anyone else working hard to maintain our economy or serve their community.

They are also a long way from being ‘the worse off’ in our country. On the contrary, they are often better paid and enjoy much better terms and conditions than their counterparts working in the private or voluntary sectors.

The fact remains, we have a system where a significant minority working for local government and the NHS have enjoyed pension rights that the rest of us could only dream of, and it can’t be a surprise to you that quite a few of us don’t think this is right or that we should have to continue paying for it.

We are in the biggest economic crisis for a generation or more and can’t go on ignoring the pension ‘black holes’ that most local authorities have, and that are getting bigger all the time.

Many people reading this, working for regular respected companies, probably went through this painful change a few years ago, paying more into their fund for a more modest return.

Well, that’s life, and it doesn’t mean that public sector workers can expect to be treated any differently.

This has nothing to do with politics, it’s about the real world.

I would dearly love for everyone to have a fabulous pension upon their retirement and for public services to be well-funded, but that won’t happen unless we pay for it and have a fundamental re-think about our values and what really matters in our society. But that’s a discussion for another time.

IAIN WILSON

The Spaldings

St Leonards