Public sector pay cap to be lifted


The cap on in the open sector pay rises in England and Wales is to be lifted.

Ministers will now get «obedience» to breach the longstanding 1% limit.

The announcement came as the government denoted police officers would get a 1% rise plus a 1% perk, with prison officers getting a 1.7% rise — both financed from existing budgets.

Unions reacted angrily to the pay awards, labeling them a real-terms cut, and the Prison Officers Association threatened industrial energy.

There was also a warning from police chiefs that creating forces pay for the increase themselves would put «financial pressure on already spread budgets».

Public sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010, except for those realizing less than £21,000 a year, and since 2013, rises have on the agenda c trick been capped at 1% — below the rate of inflation.

There has been thinking in recent weeks the cap could be lifted in response to worries about its crash on staff recruitment and retention and morale in the public sector.

Announcing the increments for police and prison officers, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Truss utter «now is a time to move to a more flexible approach» to public sector pay.

‘Opposite issues’

She told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One review bodies and departments were being inclined greater leeway to use pay to address «pinch points» within public sector poling.

«We are making sure that our policy is targeted to where there are restricted characteristic of issues, where we need to make sure we recruit more aptitude into the public sector, but also where we do need to make convinced that we are holding on to those really valued people,» she said.

«What we are making unfaltering is that we look at it on a workforce-by-workforce basis because there are very numerous issues for teachers than for nurses and for police officers.»

The higher rises for rank-and-file police and prison officers, which are backdated to 1 September and 1 April separately, are based on the most recent recommendations of independent pay review bodies.

Investigation: By BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier

Since the general election, Theresa May has been less than pressure to respond to voter concerns over squeezed living orthodoxes. And today’s announcements on pay for police and prison officers mark the beginning of the end for the renowned sector pay cap.

But if the government thought breaching its own pay cap would ease tensions with the swop unions it will need to think again. At the TUC conference there was enrage and disappointment.

The biggest union, Unite, threatened to press ahead with assault action even if their ballot turnout and margins don’t meet play fair withs now required by law.

While there was very little support for talk of speciality illegal strikes, legal action could be on the horizon.

If the unions don’t get a commitment from the chancellor in November’s Budget to resources larger pay increases next year we should expect the prospect of deal a blow ti in the new year.

Although next year’s pay settlements for other parts of the exposed sector, such as the NHS, have yet to be decided, a No 10 spokesman confirmed the persisting pay cap was at an end.

The newly-announced rises are still below the level of inflation, which cautious by the Consumer Prices Index rose to 2.9%, from 2.6%, in August.

Steve Gillan, the sweeping secretary of the Prison Officers Association, said: «I have made it free that it is a pay cut. It is not acceptable. Our executive will be looking to co-ordinate action with other occupation unions.»

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, bring up the announcement would leave many officers «angry and deflated».

«We were not voracious in what we asked for,» Mr White added. «Officers have been prepossessing home about 15% less than they were seven years ago.»

The league had asked for a 2.8% increase to basic pay, while the Prison Officers Society had called for a 5% increase.

How much will it cost?

By Anthony Reuben, BBC Actuality Check

The government has decided to lift the 1% pay cap on the public sector, although at the before you can say Jack Robinson we don’t know by how much, except for the police and prison officers.

How much it purpose cost is a tricky question. In the case of the police and prison officers, the paper money is apparently coming from existing budgets, but that means that there devise have to be cuts elsewhere or reserves will be run down.

The Institute for Pecuniary Studies reckons that an extra 1% pay for the entire public sector at ones desire cost about £1.8bn a year, although it would get some of that back in return tax and National Insurance.

But there are other savings that need to be bewitched into account, for example, some have argued that put together pay in the NHS would stop staff leaving and reduce absence, so reducing the use of diverse expensive agency staff and saving money.

Chief Constable Francis Habgood, of the Chauvinistic Police Chiefs’ Council, said forces had budgeted in line with the 1% cap until 2020, annexing that without extra government funding the latest award would «inevitably smashing on our ability to deliver policing services and maintain staffing levels».

This was shunned by Policing Minister Nick Hurd, who said the offer was affordable to impels.

He added that police forces were «sitting on» at least £1.5bn in detachment auxiliaries.

Responding to the announcement, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said «this below-inflation pay tender is pathetic».

«Public sector workers have suffered seven hunger years of real pay cuts, and are thousands of pounds worse off. Today’s communiqu means bills will continue to rise faster than their wages.»

Address at the TUC conference in Brighton, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused parsons of playing «divide and rule» with different parts of the public sector.

He required: «A pay cut is a pay cut. We must be united in breaking the pay cap for all workers.»

Unison said it was a «tiny a step at a time in the right direction but not nearly enough».

Chancellor Philip Hammond had been anticipated to address the issue in his Autumn Budget amid calls from Pains, and some Tory MPs, for help for million of workers who have suffered years of real-terms pay slights.

As the latest announcements are being funded through existing budgets, they will cause of no extra funding for the devolved administrations, who have the power to set their own counts of public sector pay.

Last month, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon harbingered the 1% cap would be scrapped from next year.

Liberal Democrat chairlady Sir Vince Cable said the pay cap was «no longer sustainable», calling for it to be «lifted across the timber».

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