The reality of the pay cap

Ahead of PCS payday protests on Friday (29), MoJ member Sharon blogs about the impact years of civil service pay restraint have had on her and her family and demonstrates why she wants the government to scrap the pay cap and fund inflation-proofing pay increases.

I’ve been a civil servant now for 20 years. I never really thought about the impact of a pay freeze until each payday became a lifetime away and I try my best to stretch the money I have to provide the best for my children.

At the start of each month I set myself a budget and I am constantly hunting for bargains and free activity days to take my two children to. My mum helps out by buying most of the children’s clothes from charity shops and I make up excuses for them not to go to every single party they are invited to so I don’t feel embarrassed when I cannot afford to buy a present. It is a constant and depressing struggle just to get the basic necessities you need.

My boys know that we go to work to buy nice things for them and we save all we can to take them on holidays. As a family this is one of the things I look forward to, giving me that extra boost to get dressed, sit on a busy train and deal with the endless pressure of meeting the unrealistic targets of my day-to-day role, knowing that I feel demoralized as a civil servant and wondering if my role is the next on the chopping block for redundancy. Without this extra push to break the pay cap this is going to be the norm in family life for more years to come.

Find out more about the PCS pay campaign.

This blog is based on an article that first appeared in the PCS Women newsletter. 

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