Warner's cap on goodwill
Lord Warner's dishonourable imposition of a cap on GPs' pensions has finally erased any last vestiges of goodwill doctors held towards this Government.
The decision is a breach not only of the letter of the contract but of its spirit. It is akin to a bank advertising a 5 per cent interest rate, only to say at the end of the year: 'I'm sorry, we realised we couldn't afford it, so we're only giving you 1 per cent.'
The upshot is that GPs, and for that matter any other publicly funded profession, will never again be able to trust their paymasters.
How can any trade union agree a long-term pay deal if it knows ministers can overturn it unilaterally and retrospectively?
Retirement money stolen
Contrary to incorrect figures used by the Government to justify the cap, GPs did not get a 30 per cent pay rise from the contract.
The income increase included the 14 per cent employer's superannuation contributions that GPs received for the first time as part of their global sum.
GPs put their proportion of this fund into their pension in the expectation that it would provide a return as stated in their contract. Those GPs who retired this year now find their money has been stolen.
The GPC must follow through with its threat to use all means at its disposal to fight this shameful cap.
And GPs can do their bit. The Government needs them to stop the NHS sliding into crisis. But it has sacrificed the right to expect their co-operation on its many policies that do nothing for patient care.