Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pensions: Scottish Executive Folds?


The Scottish Executive had previously insisted there could be no movement on plans to raise the age at which hundreds of thousands of public sector workers could retire without any financial penalty, from 60 to 65.

But just a day after 200,000 local government workers took nationwide industrial action over the issue, Tom McCabe, the finance minister, has signalled a change of heart.

Mr McCabe revealed that he was considering seeking an exemption from the European law which ministers claim has forced them to end the so-called "Rule of 85" retirement provision.

My feeling is that The Scotsman could be jumping the gun, but given how solid and massive the strike was I wouldn't be surprised to see capitulation, at least for now. And if that's so, it seriously weakens the Westminster government's case and makes it more difficult for them to continue.