I listened to David Cameron’s closing speech the other week at the Conservative Party conference and actually found myself agreeing with some of his sentiments.
During his address he talked about the need to tell the truth about the overall economic situation and that people understand that when the economy goes into recession, times get tough. This is something I have already earmarked as a feature in my up and coming keynote speech which I will deliver to the next Full Council meeting in December: tough times, demand tough decisions.
And yes the answers may well be unpalatable, but necessary nonetheless.
I didn’t agree with him, however, when he asserted that public sector pensions are unaffordable. Recently I wrote about the Shadow Pensions Minister’s visit to address the Greater Manchester Pensions Fund’s AGM.
The Fund’s aim is, and always will be, to provide secure pensions effectively administered at an affordable and stable cost to employers. There was recognition that we are certainly succeeding in this regard.
Rachel Reeves, who has now been promoted to a cabinet post, certainly recognised this fact; now I’m waiting for others to visit Tameside and future Pension Fund meetings to give their view. The invites have gone out to Government, with Under Secretary of State for Local Government Bob Neill agreeing to meet me in London. I’ll update you all after the visit.