Theresa May has announced that the public sector pay cap will be lifted but the Treasury will release no new funds to finance the pay increases. This may cause further cuts in other spending priorities.
Public sector workers could face rises of 3.5% but most will qualify for only 2%, a real terms pay cut due to inflation.
Anti-Union legislation has prevented the Union PCS from striking over pay despite 85% of workers voting to do so the Union and others want an increase of 5% to counter the huge drop in real term public sector pay over the last 8 years.
David Cameron introduced the pay freeze in 2010, followed by a 1% rise two years later. Wages in the public sector have severely lagged behind inflation but it is the same story in the private sector since the beginning of austerity.
A Labour party spokesperson called the latest offer:
“a slap in the face to public sector workers who have seen their wages cut for years by the Tories’ cruel pay cap to pay for huge tax cuts to the super-rich”
“An average offer of just 2% per year and, according to reports, only for some public sector workers, will still be a further real-terms pay cut.
“Even worse, there doesn’t seem to be any new funding for departments for this, meaning pay rises will have to come at the cost of other services, pitting hard-working public servants against those they are working with.”
Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief
The headlines should no new money for public sector. This means any wage rises will just cause cuts elsewhere.
it’s an example of how disconnected the Conservative Party are with the average worker and why so-called ‘centrist’ solutions don’t work.
Selling a pay cut as a pay rise doesn’t make it one, public sector workers should not be seeing their hard work be worth less and less each year, 2% which most workers will get is a pay cut. The government banning strike action over the issue shows how desperate it has become. Austerity on the public sector must end, if pensions rise with inflation why don’t public sector paychecks?
Releasing no new funds is not only cruel but stupid, it means that other spending must be cut. That’s both spending that provides vital services to citizens and spending in our economy. We need to be putting more money in the hands of people who spend it but the government’s obsession with deficit reduction has meant its closed its eyes to economic growth and the needs of its citizens. The move may mean some workers aren’t so bad off but may cause jobs losses and cuts to spending on resources. You can’t pay people more and want nominal spending lower, they need to pick a side.
The government must commit to spending more money, that is the start of creating economic justice after too long in austerity mode. Patch work solutions and trying to appease voters will not help, if anything this policy will only make the life of our public sector harder.