RPI-CPI legal challenge ends

Unions decide against Supreme Court appeal on CPI

Two groups of unions have decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court after the Appeal Court rejected their challenge to the government's use of the Consumer Prices Index to calculate pension rises.

Prospect, the FDA, GMB, National Union of Teachers and the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance, together representing 1.1 million people, appealed against the Chancellor's decision to use CPI instead of the Retail Prices Index to uprate public sector pensions and state benefits. The case was conjoined with a similar appeal by a group comprising PCS, the Fire Brigades Union, NASUWT and the Prison Officers Association.

Though disappointed by the Appeal Court's decision in March, general secretary Paul Noon said: "Both consortia believe they have taken this as far as they can through the legal channels, having already gone to the High Court and the Court of Appeal. To continue along the legal route would not be sensible, when the legal advice received is not positive.

"That will not stop Prospect continuing to press for a revision of the way the CPI is calculated, to take into account housing and other costs not currently included. We will work with other bodies such as the Royal Statistical Society to press for change."

The CPI switch was announced in the June 2010 Budget and imposed from April 2011. Over time CPI is up to 1.4% lower than RPI, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.