In a radical new move, the Chancellor George Osborne has offered council workers and other public sector employees a creative new alternative to receiving generous tax breaks on their pension arrangements. The new “Hand Relief for Tax Relief Scheme” will be proffered to union bosses this week.
‘The current system is unsustainable,’ said Treasury spokesman Jonty Flume. ‘We think this is a viable option that the unions should seriously consider. After all, who doesn’t like a nice hand job?’
If the proposal is accepted, HMRC are hoping to introduce an “opt out” scheme in the new year. ‘We don’t want to force people into it,’ continued Mr Flume, ‘but we’re expecting it to become a standard arrangement. Hopefully, we can pull it off.’
In order to opt out of the plans, members of a pension scheme will need to send a written request to HMRC. If the request is not accepted, workers will continue to be tossed-off in the staff toilets by a tax official armed with a jar of hand cream. Equivalent arrangements will be made for female employees.
Unison spokesperson Janet Scruff is making no promises. ‘Let’s just wait for the full details of the offer. We’re always willing to negotiate on the right terms, but we naturally want the best deal for our members. We’re going to try to hold out for an offer of an annual “oral top-up” option.’