Surely the bp leadership are aware of the potential consequences of their decision to decline the recommendation from bp pension trustees for a discretionary pension increase. An increase which would have ensured the bp pensioners’ pensions do not lag behind inflation.

Assuming the bp leadership are abreast of the probable consequences (specifically on bp pensioners) of their actions, then the next question is “At what point did the bp leadership properly evaluate these consequences?” Was it at the point of making the decision or did the full extent of the challenges faced by bp pensioners only occur to them later on? Of course we shouldn’t overlook the possibility that these consequences have never been a significant part of any relevant conversation at the top table. Just maybe consideration has only ever been given to the future of the bp pension scheme and not the people within it. Whatever the answer, like it or not there exist far reaching consequences that cannot be ignored.

Let’s not beat around the bush, those consequences will for some mean hardship, cutbacks and all the worry and anxiety that will go with that. With a large percentage of the pensioners in their 80s and 90s (an age group hit very hard by inflation) it appears that the needs of the most vulnerable pensioners have not been factored into their decision. All this will have a longer term impact on every UK taxpayer, when the UK Welfare State has to care for those bp pensioners who will become financially incapable of caring for themselves.

The bp leadership seem to be more interested in the consequences of leaving the money that would be required for a discretionary increase in the pension scheme pot. The consequences associated with this course of action will greatly assist bp with their plans to bring an insurer on board to buy-in/buy-out the bp pension scheme in the future. It is anticipated that such a move would enable bp to skim off any residual funds for bp. While it’s not difficult to appreciate what might motivate this approach, the pension fund has been accumulated by the bp pensioners and such a manoeuvre is as unlikely to benefit them as it is likely to benefit bp. That’s not acting for the greater good of the bp pensioners. It’s one reason why the bp pension campaign is gaining so much support and momentum. The bp pensioners seek a proper consultation process and not a back room deal sprung on them when all is finalised.

That bp’s actions fly in the face of bp’s stated Core Values and Code of Conduct has consequences too. BP have undermined their own integrity. However you dissect the issue, the optics are that the bp leadership doesn’t care about the longer term welfare of their people. Whatever their aspirations are for the bp pension fund, bp’s posturing is out of step and destructive, but it’s never too late to repair the damage.

Be part of the solution bp. Build bridges and stop erecting barriers.