A freedom of information request made by Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has revealed that the government’s pension policy is failing construction workers, with fewer than one in four regularly paying into a workplace pension.The figures obtained from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show that just 23% of blue collar construction workers are “participating in a workplace pension”.A breakdown of the figures reveals that the Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimates that 1.5 million workers are employed in blue collar construction work. The DWPs figures show that just 349,000 blue collar construction workers (skilled trade occupations, elementary occupations, plant and machine operatives) are paying into a pension.The paucity of construction workers paying into a pension is a major failure of the government’s auto-enrolment pension scheme, which was designed to ensure that all employees pay into a workplace pension. The revelation that the majority of blue collar construction workers don’t have a pension is likely to result in them facing poverty in retirement.Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “These figures show that the government’s auto enrolment pension policies are failing construction workers.“This failure will result in hundreds of thousands of construction workers being forced into poverty when they retire.Factors that result in construction workers not having a pension include:- rampant bogus self-employment with roughly half of blue collar construction workers being officially registered as self-employed and therefore not eligible for the auto-enrolment scheme;- the extensive use of umbrella companies where workers are required to contribute both employers’ and employees’ pension contributions making them unaffordable for many;- short-term engagements that result in workers believing it is not worth making pension contributions;- construction employers’ hostility to paying pension contributions.Cartmail said that rather than tackle the factors that “make it difficult or impossible for construction workers to contribute to the auto-enrolment pension regime, the government has acted like an ostrich and chosen to ignore the problem”.She added that “until rampant casualisation and bogus self-employment are tackled in the construction industry, workers are not going to be eligible or prepared to register for a workplace pension.”
Brookville, In. — St. Michael’s Catholic School in Brookville will hold the “Blessed Growth” Children’s Clothing & Toy Sale April 6 from 8 a.m. to noon. Gently used items will be available for sale.
Supervisors reverse years-old suppression of public comment. If they could get away with it, elected officials at every level of government would probably ban unsolicited public comment at meetings altogether. They often think their time is too important to be taken up by the contrary, pointless or odd observations of members of the public who have nothing better to do than come to public meetings and speak. Luckily for the public, they have not yet figured out a way to do this legally. Open-meeting laws require that elected officials oblige us with some forum to comment on their actions – no matter how much it annoys them. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIn Los Angeles, though, public officials have come up with ever-more draconian rules designed to discourage public comment and keep the masses seen but not heard. The Los Angeles City Council recently tightened rules on language use and allows only two minutes per speaker. On controversial topics, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has typically limited speakers to a total of seven – even on important issues such as eminent domain of neighborhoods. But it’s the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – the body most insulated from the wrath of voters – that placed the tightest comment rules on regular folks. Last week, the supervisors voted to drop the restrictions in place for 15 years. We’d praise the move, except this was the same body that for years happily limited citizens from addressing them to once every three months. As well, the reversal stemmed not from a revelation that suppressing public comment was wrong, but because a complaint was made. It’s the right decision for the wrong reasons. But, hopefully, this change will stop further encroachments on the public’s right to address its elected representatives.