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Time to rein in out-of-control council pensions

The most recent figures demonstrate that local government pensions represent a 'ticking time-bomb' for Northern Ireland - and Belfast City Council is no exception.

For 2010/2011, there was a council pension deficit of more than £218.4m across Northern Ireland, and for Belfast City Council that figure stands at almost £74m.

That means that, currently, everyone living in Belfast must find £274 each if generous pension schemes for council workers are to be funded.

A solution is desperately needed and that's why the Government at Westminster is negotiating with the unions in order to change expensive and inflexible local government pensions. The alternative is that hard-pressed taxpayers will have to pay more to subsidise final-salary pension schemes, which are often far more generous than their own.

RICHARD BROWN

Chairman, East Belfast NI Conservatives

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