Tax lobby reveals £3.5m Larne Council pension ‘deficit’

LARNE Borough Council has a £3.5 million pension deficit, it has been claimed.

The nationwide Taxpayers’ Alliance, which is campaigning for reform of local government pensions, has published the assets and liabilities of every council in the United Kingdom in 2010-11. Larne is quoted as having assets amounting to £18,364,396 as against liabilities of £21,956,000 and a deficit totalling £3,591,604.

Assets as a percentage of liabilities amounted to 85 per cent and the deficit was the equivalent of £113 per head of the 31,650 borough population.

Larne’s future council partners Carrickfergus and Ballymena had deficits of £4.1 million and £6.4 million respectively, equal to £103 and £101 per head.

The local council is one of the better-off UK authorities, which together have accumulated deficits totalling £54 billion.

“The pension assets held by each local authority in the UK are dwarfed by the size of their liabilities, which means that there is gaping pensions deficit of £54 billion, for which taxpayers are ultimately liable,” said the Taxpayers’ Alliance. It stated that council pensions were “much more generous than most private sector provision” and “place a heavy burden on local taxpayers”.