Conservatives accuse Barnet Labour administration of “raiding pensions” to plug budget gap

Opposition leader Dan Thomas said the move was “a short term fix with long term consequences” reports David Floyd

Hendon Town Hall
Hendon Town Hall

The Conservative opposition has slammed Barnet Council’s Labour leadership for a proposal to reduce pension contributions to help plug the authority’s budget gap.

The move follows last week’s announcement of a £45million budget gap for the 24/25 financial year, which has seen the administration identify £35m worth of savings so far. 

Tonight’s meeting of the borough’s Pension Fund Committee will consider proposals for an 8% reduction in contribution rate to the borough’s pension pot for the 24/25 and 25/26 financial years. 

Meeting papers state that the council is seeking to save between £5m and £8m a year for two years by reducing the contributions. 

It explains that the council had been paying more than the minimum advised amount to tackle a previous deficit – and has taken advice from an actuary before making the proposals for the reduced contribution. 

However, Conservative leader Dan Thomas is not convinced by the plan. He told Barnet Post: “Barnet Labour are desperately raiding the pension fund because they’ve crashed the council’s finances.  This is a short term fix with long term consequences for staff pensions.  Labour need to get a grip on their spending and stop blaming everyone else.”

The Pension Fund Committee will vote on whether to accept the proposals tonight.

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