Thank you for giving prominence to my letter in the Isle of Man Examiner dated March 26.
Two members were consulted about actual pay level, and even your own figure as a correction came very close, when the various visits to other countries and expenses are included over a yearly coverage of their activities.
The 5 per cent figure [for pensions contributions] is that given in the votes and proceedings issued to me in late February and I have no doubt that this was the starting point for discussion. Regardless of the final figure, this is public sector money, and this did not in any way show they were taking a cut.
Taking less now would mean they would have a greater pension than they otherwise could have [in fact, as we have reported last month, members will get the same whether they decide to contribute now or not – Editor], and it would show the gap between their own proposal and those where staff would be having to take pay cuts – and a consequential reduction in their pension.
Memories of bus drivers earning £30,000 per year come to mind, but no editor put a comment in that the basic pay was £24,500 so the public were not misled by the statements made by David Cretney. The public took the bait at the time that this was the take home pay for most or all.
They have taken a long time to dispel that belief, and they are also finding out just how untrustworthy some press statements have been particularly with the Department of Transport.
Not, I may add, through the fault of editorial staff when statements are given as fact at a time when figures and operational facts are very difficult to obtain from the Department of Transport in particular of the success or otherwise of the dramatic change in the timetable of September 2010, with no service except one bus per day in each direction between Ramsey and Douglas Prom.
• Editor’s note: According to figures released last year, the average take-home pay of a bus driver – including overtime – was £37,800.