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FDA reacts with fury to Treasury statement on public sector pensions

The FDA - the union for senior managers and professionals - reacted with fury today to comments trailing the speech being made to the IPPR by Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, said: "The Chief Secretary's comments effectively pre-determine the outcome of the negotiations currently underway between the public sector unions and the Government. This comes just days after Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, condemned unions for taking strike action before negotiations had concluded. The Government cannot have it both ways - either they are genuine about negotiations or they are not.

"This development appears to be another example of the hardliners at the Treasury driving the agenda and seemingly doing their best to provoke strike action. Earlier in the negotiations, a briefing document from the Treasury almost derailed the discussions, outlining the worst-case scenario for pension reform. Despite these difficulties, the majority of trade unions have continued to approach these negotiations with a genuine intent to reach agreement.

"The Treasury is simply fixed on raising their £2.8bn pensions' levy, and seems to have no genuine interest in a long-term, sustainable agreement on the future of public sector pension provision.

"I am rapidly coming to the view that these negotiations are doomed to failure while the Treasury is in the driving seat, and it is increasingly inevitable that there will be widespread industrial action across the public sector, which would be likely to include the FDA. The public should know that the blame for this will lie squarely at the door of the Treasury."

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.

Oliver Rowe, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.

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