23 March 2022

Sunak fails to deliver for PCS members

Today’s spring statement from Rishi Sunak is a massive disappointment to PCS members.

In a report issued by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) this year is described as “the worst year for living standards since records began in 1956”. Against that backdrop with inflation at a 30-year high of 6.2% (CPI) and 7.8% (RPI) and set to go higher, PCS members were hoping for some encouragement on wages, but nothing was said about this at all.

We have meetings with ministers next week to discuss the civil service Treasury pay remit but other offers have been around 2%. If this turns out to be the case this would inflict a massive, real-terms pay cut on PCS members just when we actually need an above inflation increase to cope with rising fuel and energy prices which are far in excess of even the 6.2% CPI.

The budget failed on a number of fronts:

  • Failed to reverse next month’s National Insurance increase.
  • No cut to VAT on energy bills
  • Nothing to compensate civil service pension scheme members for the 2% overpayment in contributions since 2019.

While some small changes were made to the threshold for when workers start paying NI and there is a temporary cut in fuel duty, overall members will be massively worse off this year and the government is failing to step in and help.

PCS members just voted by over 97% to back an inflation plus pay claim with 80% saying they would be prepared to take action about it. This mandate will be taken into the discussions on the pay remit to let ministers know exactly how they feel.