Thank you for contacting me about the important matter of fair pay for public service workers.
I absolutely share your disappointment following the recent spring budget which failed to support our public service workers and meet the challenge of the cost of living crisis.
While it was pleasing to see the Government finally conceding and announcing an end to the public sector pay freeze in 2022-2023. I have been opposed to this pay freeze since its introduction and therefore welcome this decision.
However this is too little too late, especially since the Chancellor has failed to announce a real terms pay rise. This budget reflects a trend of policy decisions from a Government who don’t understand the value of our public services and workers.
Civil servants and other public sector workers have seen a decade of pay restraint, including several years of pay freezes and a six-year pay cap of 1%. As a result of this, they have experienced what the TUC calls a “decade of lost pay”, while according to the Public and Commercial Services Union in 2020 the average civil servant on a salary of £26,000 was worse off by £2,110 a year. Since then, these workers have seen a further pay freeze and now face – along with the rest of the country – the growing cost-of-living crisis.
I believe the Government should help our public sector workers and the general public through the current cost-of-living crisis by cancelling its planned National Insurance rise and using a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas companies to help households with their energy bills.
I can therefore assure you that I will continue to monitor this issue and hope that the Cabinet Office’s pay remit guidance reflects the fair pay rise our public servants deserve.