Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pension Cap

I don't have full details yet, but it appears that bastard Lord Warner has written to the GPC to say that he will cap GP pensions.

Here is the text from a BMA press release:

Immediate release : Thursday, 7 December 2006

BMA to challenge the imposed cap on GPs’ pensions

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA’s GPs Committee, denounced Lord
Warner’s decision to cap GP pensions as reneging on a contract agreement and
denying doctors the pensions they have already paid for.

“Most GPs are self-employed. They pay both the employers’ and the employees’
contributions into the NHS Pension Scheme. The pensions they have accrued
are in fact delayed pay resulting from a contract agreed by the government
with the profession. For Lord Warner to say they cannot have the pension
they have earned and paid for is a denial of their contractual rights. We
will be challenging his decision” said Dr Meldrum.

While family doctors have seen a substantial rise in income under the new
contract, the BMA believes the earning figures announced last week by the
government are wrong. Dr Meldrum said: “Because of a significant error, the
quoted figures are pitched at too high a level. We understand the 14%
employers’ pension contribution has been mistakenly included in the income
figures. The error means the average GP pay for 2004-05 is well below
£100,000, not the six figure income as reported. It also means the
percentage rise in pay is substantially below the 32% claimed by the
government.” Clarification of the error is being sought by the BMA.

Dr Meldrum said: “Lord Warner’s offer of a 48% rise in the pension
dynamising factor* over five years may seem superficially generous but it is
not the deal we negotiated and will seriously disadvantage GPs nearing
retirement and those who have recently retired. Those doctors retired
believing in good faith that they would receive the pensions they had earned
and paid for. Moreover, we believe the timing of the announcement is
premature, is based on estimated figures of doubtful accuracy and,
therefore, we do not accept the assertions that honouring this deal would
take money away from patient services.

“The government’s decision is a betrayal of good faith and is depriving
doctors of a pension we believe they have a legal right to receive.”

The BMA’s GPs Committee will now seek further legal advice on mounting a
challenge to Lord Warner’s announcements on capping of pensions.


This has got to be a breach of contract, never mind comp[l;etely removing any chance of healing the rift between the politicos and medics.

I will await developments with interest...

1 comment:

Michael Martin-Smith said...

Lord Warner's proposed cap on GP Pensions increases has, we all know, arisen from panic at discovering that GPs, as a breed,are actually rather more hard working and achievement orientated than politicians gave them credit for. They honestly believe that, left to ourselves, we would spend all day at the golf course, up in the air aviating, or at the casinos at night!
Shocked to find out their error something had to be done!

However, they should have a care; the world is not blind. How can a Government which cannot even honour a deal arrived at only 3 years ago with its own Health workers be trusted to honour any undertaking in international finance, peace brokering etc?

Mr Blair fancies hmself-like Count von Bismarck in the Balkans a while ago - as an honest broker in the Middle East. To have any traction there, trust is a prerequisite;with Israel threatened by Mr Ahmadinejad of Iran with a nuclear holocaust, and Palestine enduring continuing occupation by a distinctly nervous Jewish State armed with enough nukes to cause a 10 year long nuclear winter, our only hope is that a third party might get Israel's itchy fingers away from the trigger, and prise Israel and Palestine into neighbourly two statehood - and above all put Islamofascist Iran back into its cage! Cast iron guarantees to ensure Israel's right to exist might conceivably work?

There is, I submit, enough mutual distrust in that region without HMG casually throwing away the small residue of integrity possessed by a British Prime Minister.

Any Palestinian or Israeli leader,if in future faced with "guarantees" from Britain, has only to mutter "Lord Warner" and continue building up his/her forces for the inevitable war.
The worldy-wise everywhere will quite understand.
Pity about civilisation.

"Nice one, Cyril" as we say...