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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Another reason to lift the public sector pay cap

Anybody who thinks that the effects of 2008 crash are in the past, needs to look again. Not only is the economy still struggling to get back to pre-2008 levels but some of the measures put into effect by the UK Government to control expenditure continue to hot ordinary people.

One of those measures was the public sector pay cap. This was meant to be a temporary measure but for some reason successive Chancellors of the Exchequer have not been able to bring themselves to lift it. Now, as the Guardian reports, we have a situation where public sector workers’ pay has dipped below that of their private sector counterparts.

The paper says that an analysis of hourly earnings shows that last year public sector workers were paid 0.6% less than private sector colleagues in similar jobs. By comparison, they enjoyed a premium of 3.1% compared with the private sector in 2005, rising to 5.8% in 2010.

Phillip Hammond announced a partial lifting of the 1% pay cap last month, affecting only the police and prison officers but as far as I am aware has declined to fund it. That will mean even further cuts in those services.

The Guardian add that the chancellor maintains public sector workers are still better off than their private sector colleagues because they benefit from higher employer pension contributions:

But the GMB say its analysis shows that they also pay in significantly more through employee contributions. Three in five public sector workers pay in at least 6% of earnings on average, compared with one in seven private sector workers. Research suggests that when private sector wages outstrip those in the public sector, hospital fatality rates rise and schools’ GCSE results decline.

Time for a U-turn and a decent pay rise for the public sector properly funded by central government.
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