Thursday, 2 February 2012
Britain is still a country where very old men called judges hold onto their jobs and don't want to pay for their pensions
These were the 11 judges who sat in Britain's Supreme Court in 2010 and their ages were left to right: 61, 66, 62, 71, 72, 68 and 66 and front row : 71, 65, 71 and 73.
They had a collective age of 746 years.
Most of the other groups of judges in Britain follow their example of being old men with few women :
There are :
30 Lord Justices of Appeal with 4 women
17 in the High Court of Chancery with 1 woman
18 in the High Court Family Division with 6 women
74 in the High Court Queen's Bench with 9 women
These old men have been in the news. A headline in the Daily Mail yesterday read :
Judges may sue to save their 'free' pensions after threatening court action unless Government backs down
It made the following points, that they :
* are the only public servants who do not contribute to their pensions and
making them pay would save taxpayers £4million a year.
* are rebelling against an attempt to make them contribute and have threatened to launch an unprecedented court action against the Crown unless the Government backs down.
* say they are a 'special case' because the constitutional need to protect their 'independence' from Government means politicians should never cut their pay.
* have paid into a fighting fund to finance a court case and have suggested they could take their argument to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Their annual salaries range from £103,000 for district judges to £173,000 for High Court judges and £240,000 for the Lord Chief Justice and at present, all they have to pay is between 1.8% and 2.4% of salary towards the pension their spouse will receive following their death.
This compares with contributions as a percentage of salary of :
6% for nurses and teachers
10% for police and firemen
11% for Memebers of Parliament
around 8% for private-sector workers