A trade union leader has hit out at claims by West Midlands businessman Tim Watts that civil service pensions are 'gold-plated'.
Andrew Lloyd, West Midlands regional secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, said the average civil servant’s pension wouldn’t “buy a wheel on Mr Watts’ Rolls-Royce car”.
And he attacked the Pertemps boss over his recent claims that civil servants “pocket millions of pounds with their gold-plated pensions”.
Mr Watts, who recently admitted to owning a string of valuable pictures, Persian carpets, around 80 antique cars plus the Wrekin Ruby gem, enraged the PCS union with claims that civil servants had set a bad example to rioters and looters.
Mr Watts said: “Rioters are only human beings. They see MPs stealing tens of thousands of pounds, they see civil servants pocket millions of pounds with their gold-plated pensions and incomes roughly 30 per cent higher than their equivalents in the private sector.”
But Mr Lloyd said: “The average civil servant can expect to get £4,200 per year.
“This probably wouldn’t even buy a wheel on Mr Watts’ Rolls-Royce car. In fact, over 100,000 former civil servants get less than £2,000 a year, less than a fraction of Mr Watts’ Wrekin Ruby, valued at £8 million but bought for £8,000.
“These poverty pensions face further cuts from Government who want to tax all public sector workers to pay for the deficit created by bankers and entrepreneurs, not because they are unaffordable.”
Mr Lloyd said pointing the finger of blame at civil servants for the riots was “clearly ridiculous.”
“Mr Watts’ comments are not surprising given his ownership of the Wrekin Ruby, over 80 antique cars and a variety of Persian rugs," he added.
“PCS members were outraged and felt that I should point out what these ‘gold-plated’ pensions actually mean.
“He also does not seem to understand that ‘gold-plated’ is something of poor value that is made to look expensive, much like civil servants’ pensions.”