RPI should be renewed, not scrapped - joint union statement

Posted by GMB Admin
Wednesday 18 November 2020
GMB Trade Union - RPI should be renewed, not scrapped - joint union statement

Getting rid of RPI could reduce pay rises and pensions for millions of working people

The general secretaries of Britain’s largest unions have today issued a joint statement calling on the government not to scrap the RPI measure of inflation.

A decision on the future of RPI is expected to be announced alongside the Spending Review on 25 November.

The statement reads:

"As representatives of workers and pensioners, we are deeply concerned by the imminent threat to scrap the RPI measure of inflation. 

"This is not a technical issue. Getting rid of RPI would affect millions of working people – both in terms of pay and pensions.

"Two-thirds of private sector schemes are still uprated by RPI.  Shifting to the proposed CPIH measure would leave the average male worker with a private sector pension £11,000 worse-off in retirement. And it would leave the average woman worker on a private sector scheme £14,000 poorer. That is not right.

"And if future pay bargaining moves from RPI to CPIH this could reduce pay rises by more than £350 for the average full-time UK worker.

"Nobody is claiming the RPI is perfect. But it remains the best measure for living costs and would be straight forward to modernise.

"As has been shown across Europe it would be perfectly possible to have RPI existing in parallel to CPIH (​or CPI) and have the latter measure focus on guiding monetary policy.

"We are disappointed that expert calls to retain the RPI have been repeatedly ignored. The Royal Statistical Society and House of Lords Economic Affairs ​Committee have both presented compelling evidence for keeping it.    

"We urge the government to listen to these bodies and to unions. Scrapping RPI will hit workers in the pay packet and make it harder for them to have dignity in retirement.

"And it will damage the reputation of inflation measurement in the UK."

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC

Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON

Len McCluskey, General Secretary, Unite

Warren Kenny, Acting General Secretary, GMB

Dave Ward, General Secretary, CWU

Dave Penman, General Secretary, FDA

Steve Gillan, General Secretary, POA

Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA

Ged Nichols, General Secretary, Accord

Steve Jamieson, General Secretary, College of Podiatry

Dr Paul Donaldson, General Secretary, HCSA

Dilwyn Roberts-Young, General Secretary, National Union of Teachers Wales

Brian Strutton, General Secretary, BALPA

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