The mutual that never was, part II

There’s a mucky little story about what is happening to one of the government’s so-called ‘mutuals’ in today’s Financial Times.

The privatisation of the Civil Service pension administration to a new ‘mutual joint venture’ known as MyCSP was always a controversial affair, as I reported back in 2011.

The deal gave the staff (most of whom didn’t want to be decanted from the civil service) just 25% of the new company, with the private firm Equiniti Group holding the largest (40%) stake.

Today’s announcement is that the government is to sell 11% of its own original 35% holding to Equiniti, which will now have 51% of the shares – or in other words a majority stake.

With an election looming, we need to guard against politicians who play fast and loose with talk of mutuals and cooperatives. Compelling public sector staff to become members of their own mutual, or ‘mutual’, goes against every principle in the book.

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