Public Service Pensions debate
2nd November 2011
George Freeman welcomes the Government's offer on public service pensions and help for the low-paid despite the legacy of spiralling costs from an irresponsible boom in the public sector and unfunded pension liabilities.
George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): I welcome the statement and congratulate the Front-Bench team on the work they have done to go as far as they can to help the low-paid. Is it not the truth that we are facing a crisis of spiralling costs from an irresponsible boom in the public sector under the last Government—with unfunded pension liabilities, bankrupt public finances and debt interest set to rise to £76 billion? Is it not the truth that it is always the poorest that pick up the bills for Labour and that a responsible—
Mr Speaker: Order. The trouble with Members crafting their questions word for word is that they tend to be rather long.
Danny Alexander: The hon. Gentleman is right that the poorest in society end up paying the price for the loss of financial control that we saw in this country under the previous Government. He referred to the liabilities in public service pensions. Those liabilities are, on the latest figures, more than £1.1 trillion. That is the entire education budget for more than 20 years.