Rob Wilson's Westminster Diary 23.06.11

Published: 24 Jun 2011 09:300 comments

The longer we are in Government the easier it becomes to expose how useless the last Labour Government was - it's quite difficult for the public to comprehend just how awful it all was.

Everything had ground to a halt, very little in Government actually worked as it should and money was sprayed around Government Departments with a hosepipe trying to 'make things better'.

Of course money couldn't fix the problem because it was systemic, borne of an ideology that wants to take control of everything and everyone. The side effect was that the country was taken to the very brink of bankruptcy.

But that's not to say Government is easy. Over the past few months we've started to become accused of u-turns; on health, woodlands and sentencing policy.

The Government prefers to say it has listened, but it's probably a combination of the two in most cases. The big challenge now is the militant trade unions going on strike and trying to bring down the Government.

Let's be frank, the leadership of some unions have been spoiling for a confrontation from the first day we were in power.

Quite disgracefully, and after a number of false starts earlier in the year, they have ballotted their members even while the negotiations with the Government are still going on. This is not the behaviour of reasonable people.

I feel very sorry for the thousands of teaching professionals who are going to be striking next week without having voted to go on strike and in the knowledge they've been led into pre-emptive action.

Sadly, the few are damaging the many. This is primarily about public sector pensions; Labour peer, Lord Hutton has recommended that people should work longer and pay more towards their pension, bringing the public sector closer into balance with the private sector.

The public sector now earns, on average, more than the private sector and it has better pensions and working conditions. For example, every year we, as taxpayers, are paying more and more into local authority pensions instead of the money going into frontline local services.

Nationally, the pension bill will double for the taxpayer over the next five years by £10 billion. This Government has no choice, it has to bring the public sector into line with the private sector - and even with the changes proposed, the public sector employees will still have very good pensions.

These are serious and substantial matters that the Labour Party is opting out of and it is letting its union paymasters run amok with the economy.

Striking will only make matters worse, so I urge those who didn't vote, or voted against strike action (the huge majority) to go to work as normal.

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