What do we want?
Back in the early, dark days of our campaign, when there was no compensation for those who lost their company pensions, there was a war cry that echoed round Parliament Square and other places:
"WHAT DO WE WANT?"
"WHEN DO WE WANT THEM?"
With a lot of hard work and long hours, travelling many thousands of miles, attending protest marches, court proceedings, meetings with ministers and MPs, attending PAG planning meetings, and sending thousands of letters and emails', we have had a great deal of success. After all of PAG's lengthy involvement with those that sit on the hallowed benches of Westminster and beyond, we wear our battle scars with pride. But the outcome offered by Government in 2007 is still nowhere near the pensions we paid for.
A lot of water has flowed under the Westminster bridge since we started our campaign, and many will remember those dark days just after the turn of the Millennium. So what would the cry be now?
The "WHAT DO WE WANT?" reply for most people now would be "FULL SCHEME INDEXATION" and when do we want it "FROM DAY ONE". This is because the lack of significant indexation eats voraciously into our purchasing power, so as the years roll by the percentage of the pensions we receive, compared to what we would have had if our occupational pension schemes had continued, is alarmingly depleted. And it affects the oldest and those with the longest service worst.
But there are a lot of other issues which mean that the pensions we are actually receiving are less than those we were promised. There are too many to fit into a battle cry, but here are some of them (click the links for more information on each):
Then another cry would be "WHAT DO WE WANT?" and the reply "REMOVAL OF THE CAP"; this affects very few people but for them it was an important part of the trust they put into their pension provision and that's what they paid for.
We have seen time and time again other groups that would have suffered from emerging social financial injustice that have been fully bailed out by government, so we ask why are we different? Why is our start point the headline 90% figure, and why are there so many other conditions and provisions which reduce our payments to below 50% in some cases?
In summary, the ultimate battle cry would be:
"WHAT DO WE WANT?"
"WHAT WE PAID FOR!"