E-petition triggers CPI debate

E-petition triggers parliamentary debate on CPI pension switch

Thousands of Prospect members were among those who signed an e-petition to the Department for Work and Pensions pressing for a parliamentary debate on the uprating of pensions by the consumer prices index.

Following the collection of 109,372 signatures, parliament's Backbench Business Committee has announced that a debate relating to this e-petition will take place on Thursday 1 March in the chamber of the House of Commons.

Jim Singer, a public sector worker in the DWP, who started the petition said: "If nothing else, hopefully the debate will help raise the awareness of this unfair change which is already affecting thousands of people."

The petition stated that many workers in both the public and private sectors had contributed to their pensions on the understanding that on retirement they would be increased each April by the preceding September's RPI.

It said the government decision to switch uprating to CPI from April 2011 "is designed to take account of the fact that consumers tend to shop around, switching to cheaper alternatives when prices of similar goods change."

It pointed out this would mean a steady reduction in spending power for pensioners as they progress into their retirement and called for the RPI measure to be reintroduced without delay.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal has reserved judgement in the case brought by Prospect and other unions against the RPI-CPI pensions switch, with a decision expected before Easter.