Our pay stories

Members in HMRC have shared their stories with us of trying to live with the 1% public sector pay cap. (Names have been changed to protect members’ identity).

Veronica says she has to work 2 jobs just to survive:

“I have worked for HMRC since 2007. I work for HMRC Monday to Friday full time. I also have a 2nd job where I work 12 hours on a Sunday. I am exhausted and trying to pay my credit card off which I have used to make ends meet.

“I will be able to enjoy more family time and not feel so tired from having to work 6 days a week if the pay cap is lifted.”

Dave says he is worse off than he was 5 years ago:

“When you factor in increases to pension contributions and so on, the amount that actually ends up in my pocket is £300 a year less than five years ago.

“My partner and I are trying to save a deposit to buy our first home but this has proven extremely difficult as bills continue to rise. Despite having to keep cutting back most months, we still don't have anything left to put towards our savings. My partner is in the same boat as me, as she works in a school and her pay hasn’t changed for years.

“A decent pay rise for us would mean we can make real progress on saving for our own home and starting our family.”

Yvonne believes a pay rise and the reintroduction of progression pay would help her out:

“I would like to see not only a rise in my pay beyond 1% but the reintroduction of progression pay within the pay bands.  I have been a manager for 12 years and I am only £600 from the minimum.  I believe this is a disgrace and if you have no chance of progressing to the maximum why are these pay scales still be used.”


Struggling to get by

Craig says he is struggling because of the pay cap and planned office closures will make him worse off:

“We need to break the pay cap. I have lost a couple of thousands of pay in the last seven years. A lot of our staff are on tax credits.

“HMRC are planning to close down local call centres like the one in East Kilbride, which employs 2,500 people and move them to a regional centre in Glasgow.  That would add an hour-and-a-half travelling time to my working day and leave me even worse off.”

Gayle told us she is just living to pay the bills: 

“The price of everything has risen apart from my wages. I end up robbing Peter to pay Paul by living off credit cards to do weekly shopping, as after the mortgage and other direct debits there isn't anything left for treats or a better quality of life. I’m just living to pay bills every month.”


What you can do to help

Updated 1 August 2017

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