PCS has today said the government must “put its money where its mouth is” and commit to scrapping the pay cap for all public sector workers, following yet another apparent government U-turn on the public sector pay cap.
It was reported this morning (4) that the 1% pay cap, an austerity measure dating from 2010, may be scrapped in the upcoming budget for certain public sector workers.
The cap has come under widespread scrutiny recently, with 70% of the public supporting an end to it.
The government’s pay policy has been disastrous for living standards, quality of life and the economy. From 2010 to 2016 average civil service pay fell by between £2,000 and £3,500 in real terms – a larger decline than the rest of the public sector and the wider economy.
Scrapping the cap will improve pay in key public service jobs, including those who collect and administer the taxes that fund public services, those who administer social security and pensions, staff in courts and at borders.
However, for the removal of the cap to be meaningful, the government must ensure that every public sector worker – and not just a select few – get the pay rise they urgently deserve. Pay awards must be at least 5% or £1200, and that there must be a commitment to fund fair pay by investing in public services.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The Tories have U-turned yet again on public sector pay, showing how weak and wobbly this government is. Our union has always been clear that austerity does not work and we have been proven correct.
“Our national executive meeting this week will decide a plan that sets out an end to pay misery for public servants, and that restores public sector pay to levels that will allow working people to live with the dignity and security they deserve.
“It is clear that the Tories have no mandate to continue with the public sector pay cap, and the cap must now be lifted for all public servants giving each and every one of them a proper pay rise. Our message to the government is simple: it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.”