Pension was the main concern when in June 2011, hundreds of thousands of public sector workers went on strike across the UK over plans to cut pensions.
Most schools were closed and airports disrupted as border staff supported the action. The government says the pension proposals are ‘fair’ in comparison to the private sector.
Britain is split down the middle on Thursday’s strikes, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll. Asked whether the mass walkout by teachers and civil servants was justified, 41% of respondents said it was, against 42% who deemed it unjustified: a mere 1% difference which represents a statistical dead heat.
It comes as no surprise that workers employed by the state are most strongly behind the industrial action, which was after all principally aimed at protecting their pensions – 61% of them said the strike was justified, whereas among those employed by private firms a slight majority of 51% said the opposite.
Around two-thirds of the interviews for the poll took place before the strike, with the remainder taking place on Thursday itself.
The £1.1trillion bill for public sector pensions has been revealed alongside a new report that says further pain will have to follow austerity cuts to pay for Britain’s ageing population.
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