Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Investing

Unions threaten public sector strike over pay freeze for millions

Frances Ogrady

Unions have warned ministers that freezing pay for four million workers risks a public sector strike, in a further sign of the backlash against plans to repair the damage that the pandemic has done to the nation’s finances.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said that proposals for a public sector pay freeze were “morally obscene” and refused to rule out industrial action. “There’s still time for the government to step back and I would encourage them to think again,” she said. “I’m really conscious of the feeling out there that governments only seem to recognise the true value of labour when it’s withdrawn.”

O’Grady (pictured) warned that the “last thing” Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, should do to workers during the pandemic was to announce a real-terms pay cut.

Mr Sunak refused to confirm the plan but said it was “entirely reasonable” to think about public sector pay in the context of the wider economic climate. Speaking on Times Radio, he said that it was important to be “cognisant of what’s happening to wages, to jobs, hours worked across the economy, when we try and calibrate what the right and fair way to set public sector pay is”.

It was reported last week that nearly four million public sector staff face a pay freeze next year. Mr Sunak will use his comprehensive spending review on Wednesday to announce “pay restraint”. In a speech today Anneliese Dodds, the shadow chancellor, will say that public sector staff should not pay for the government’s “irresponsible choices”.

MPs are under pressure to turn down their proposed £3,300 pay rise next year as the chancellor prepares to announce a public sector pay freeze.

MPs are to receive the top-up under proposals for a 4.1 per cent pay rise by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), while four million public sector workers face a real-terms pay cut. The rise would take MPs’ annual salaries up to about £85,000 next year. They have received a pay rise in each of the past six years.

Ms O’Grady said: “Public sector workers have already endured a decade of pay restraint.” She added: “If the government is serious about levelling up Britain, it shouldn’t be levelling down public sector pay. We need to get wages rising faster for everyone — not just for those sat in the Houses of Parliament.”

Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “A pay rise for politicians sends the wrong message at a time when the nation’s finances are in a sorry state. Taxpayers in the private sector have endured a torrid year and shouldn’t be forced to stump up for bumper salary surges.

“If MPs want to gain the confidence of the country, they should agree to a system of performance-related pay that rewards prosperous policy making.”

Ministerial pay, which is set by the government, will remain frozen. As a result ministers will receive a rise to their parliamentary salary but not to their ministerial top-ups.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, was asked yesterday whether he would refuse the rise. He told Times Radio: “Ipsa set the pay. It’s not for me individually, in that sense, to do that. Ipsa should set pay policy for MPs as they are independently mandated to do.”

MPs do not have a say over their salaries and must accept the recommendations of Ipsa, which was set up after the expenses scandal. However, they could pay their top-ups back into the Treasury’s coffers, give them to charity or use them to give their staff a rise. Some MPs have already promised not to take the extra money.

Rosena Allin-Khan, a shadow health minister, said last month that the pay rise sent “the wrong message”. Nadhim Zahawi, a business minister, and Lucy Powell, a shadow business minister, promised to give it to charity.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, criticised the pay rise last month. “This year of all years we shouldn’t have it,” he said. “That money . . . should be spent on key workers — those who have been on the front line through this pandemic.”

Mr Sunak will set out more details on spending and public sector pay on Wednesday. He is expected to announce an extra £1.25 billion to build prison places and more funding for police recruitment. The government will allocate £4 billion overall to build 18,000 extra prison places across England and Wales over four years.

Mr Sunak is expected to say: “This has been a tough year for us all. But we won’t let it get in the way of delivering on our promises.”

Read more:
Unions threaten public sector strike over pay freeze for millions

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Economy

By Diego Gabriel C. Robles THE Philippine economy expanded by 7.4% in the second quarter — slower than expected — as rising inflation weighed...

Economy

By Abigail Marie P. Yraola, Researcher THE Philippines’ merchandise trade deficit hit another record in June as imports continued to outpace exports despite a...

Economy

THE National Government’s (NG) outstanding debt as a share of the gross domestic product (GDP) eased to 62.1% at the end of June. Data...

Economy

By Keisha B. Ta-asan SOURED LOANS held by Philippine banks fell for a fourth straight month in June, bringing the nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio...

Economy

Smart says third telco player’s PCC complaint meant to avoid liability By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter GLOBE Telecom, Inc. on Tuesday said it...

Economy

DMCI Holdings, Inc. reported on Tuesday that its second-quarter consolidated net income went up by 73% to P9.03 billion from P5.23 billion, driven by...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Investing

Instagram still holds the top spot for social media in terms of building brand reputation and expanding business potential. Every day, more and more...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.