As an ex-serviceman with 38 years service in the RAF, I am of course a service pensioner. I was therefore very interested to read about the issue of service pension cuts being raised at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. Apparently, Labour delegates are very concerned that ex-service personnel are suffering a drop in their pensions because of the government’s decision to change the way rises in benefits are calculated. The switch from RPI to CPI means that anybody receiving an index linked benefit, such as a public pension, will effectively be taking a cut in income year on year.
I of course have a vested interest in this subject and would be very pleased to see the link with the RPI restored. However, why has Labour waited until their party conference to make a fuss about this?
Also, why is it only service pensions that they are so concerned about? What about all the other public servants who are now, or soon will be, on a pension and are receiving a year on year cut in what may be their only source of income?
Could it be that the Labour Party is cynically seeking to cash in on the current high regard the military is enjoying in the public’s eye? If there were no servicemen and women returning from Afganistan dead, or suffering from horrific and life changing injuries, would this item of even been discussed at the conference, let alone appeared on an agenda?