Tag Archives: public sector pay

If you want a strong public sector, you’re going to have to compete on pay and conditions eventually…

There is no way in which one can buck the market. – Margaret Thatcher, 10 March 1988

And yet, Governments, especially Conservative ones, keep doing just that when it comes to public sector pay. Even more ironically, there seems to be a belief that, contrary to the notion that there is no such thing as society, people will take an altruistic view when it comes to their own salary prospects in order to work in the public sector.

There may have been a time when the public sector was grossly overpaid in comparison with the private sector. Personally, as a civil servant for well over thirty years, I don’t remember it, but I’m sure that there’s someone out there willing to make the argument.

But, as shortages of nurses, doctors and dentists become ever more noticeable – my own county of Suffolk is increasingly a desert for NHS dentistry, and the issue was a contributory factor in the Tiverton & Honiton by-election – the question of market forces kicks in.

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Public sector pay: NHS and social care workers to face £900m NI tax rise

The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of giving with one hand and snatching away with the other on public sector pay, given the national insurance tax hike and worsening cost of living crisis.

Previous analysis by the House of Commons Library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats estimates that those working in health and social care will be faced with a tax hit of over £900 million due to the Conservative government’s manifesto-breaking hike to national insurance.

The research shows a nurse or midwife on an average salary would see their tax bill rise by £310 next year, care home workers would pay around £140 more and ambulance staff would face a £420 increase. The average NHS worker across all staff groups will pay £315 more a year.

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21 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey
  • Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services
  • Delyn MP must end ‘saga of scandals’
  • PM must announce a full investigation into potential Russian interference of our democracy
  • Braverman must apologise for endorsing Cummings

Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey

Responding to reports that nearly 900,000 public sector workers will receive a pay rise out of existing departmental budgets, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

Accepting the independent review body’s pay recommendations was the very least the Chancellor could do. Yet, as overall budgets remain unchanged, the reality is our schools, police and wider public services will struggle to meet this award without significant cuts elsewhere in their budgets, including redundancies.

And utterly failing to recognise the outstanding effort of social care staff during the COVID-19 crisis is simply not acceptable. Councils and the wider care sector must be properly funded.

Since the early days of this pandemic, Liberal Democrats have been the first to argue for a better deal for NHS and care staff, yet Ministers seem to think that warm words and hand claps are sufficient. Boris Johnson should be ashamed for neglecting NHS and care staff again.

Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services

Responding to ONS statistics showing that Government borrowing for June was £35.5 billion – around five times more than the same month last year – Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

In an unprecedented economic challenge like the coronavirus pandemic people must come before the numbers. Any Chancellor should go beyond normal borrowing to help protect peoples’ health and livelihoods.

What the Government must now make clear is that, after Covid, higher debt will not and must not mean cuts to vital public services or less investment for our crumbling infrastructure – especially in the parts of the UK that need it most.

Liberal Democrats stand firm that we must grow our way out of this crisis with a Green Recovery Plan that will invest billions to transform our economy, fight climate change and create millions of good-quality jobs.

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It is time for a double lock on public sector pay

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I suspect most of us have seen this article by the Telegraph suggesting that there could be a two year public sector pay freeze to help pay for the £300bn coronavirus bill.

This must not be the case and we must fight tooth and nail to oppose any measure that freezes the pay of the public sector again. Instead, we should push for a double lock on public sector pay.

The pension triple lock was introduced under the Coalition, and was a Lib Dem policy, to help improve the living standards of those who had retired. The public sector double lock should be there to do the same for public sector workers.

I propose that it works in a similar way to the pensions lock, that is either a pay increase of 2.5% or RPI + 1%, whichever is highest. A pay settlement like this will show the 5.4 million people employed in the public sector that we support them wholeheartedly and will help us to recruit more people with diverse experience.

The boost to consumption will be welcome as we need to get people spending money again, money which they can only spend if they have it. Healthcare in particular has seen large productivity increases in the last decade, outperforming some of the private sector, it’s time they were rewarded.

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19 July 2019 – live from Brecon, today’s press releases…

  • Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: Govt must provide urgent clarity on teachers’ pay
  • Lib Dem legislation to protect victims of crime passes second reading
  • Davey: Govt must fund police pay rise
  • Umunna slams economically incompetent Tories
  • Swinson: This is a time for cool heads in the Gulf

Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens

Today, the Liberal Democrats have brought forward a bill to safeguard EU citizens’ rights.

The Bill brought forward by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates would provide a guarantee that, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, the rights of EU citizens and other EEA nationals living in …

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Autumn Budget – what our Spokespeople say

The Lib Dems have been hot off the mark with what this Autumn Budget doesn’t do.  Here are 7 failures.

And leading Lib Dems have been speaking out about what the budget really means:

Leader of the Lib Dems Vince Cable MP says

Each person in Britain is set to be £687 worse off per year compared to forecasts before the election.

And as living standards are squeezed, the Government is setting aside £3.7bn to cover the cost of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Chancellor found more money in the Budget to plan for Brexit than he did for our struggling NHS, schools and police.

Liberal

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Economic Implications of Autumn Budget

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake commented:

“Instead of a bright future for Britain, Conservative plans will see a £65bn hit to tax receipts, slashed wages and higher borrowing.

The Government found £3bn to spend on Brexit, but nothing for our police or social care.

The Chancellor has completely failed to show the ambition needed to tackle the housing crisis, build the infrastructure the country needs or fix Universal Credit.”

And here is the breakdown of the economic costs:

1. £65bn hit to tax receipts: Tax receipts have been downgraded by £65.4 billion over the five-year period compare to …

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Cable: Hammond’s position on public sector pay unsustainable

Chancellor Philip Hammond was quite happy to tell Andrew Marr that his Cabinet colleagues didn’t trust him on Brexit, but not so quick to deny that he’d said that public sector workers were overpaid. Our shadow Chancellor and almost leader Vince Cable had this to say:

I am very surprised by Philip Hammond’s reported comment the public sector workers are “overpaid”. Who exactly is he talking about? Nurses? Teachers? Police officers? Servicemen and women?

There is very clear evidence of chronic shortages and recruitment difficulty in many of our essential services. Basic economics, let alone wider ideas of fairness suggests that Hammond’s position is totally unsustainable.

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Recent Comments

  • Michael Cole
    I take your point David. Perhaps we should rightly be critical of the leadership for not nailing the blame on the Cons. But we all know that LDs get way too lit...
  • David Evans
    Michael, Although I agree with your sentiment, indeed I have been saying we need to nail the Conservatives with the blame for many months now, but I haven't see...
  • Denis
    Logically it would be crazy for the Tories to seek a general election in the near future but could Johnson - caring little for the fortunes of his party - go fo...
  • expats
    At least Johnson is consistent.. He has been sacked, for telling lies, from just about every position he's held; it looks as if his lies over the Pincher affair...
  • Gordon
    “What narrative can Liberal Democrats try to craft… ?” Yes! That is the key question. I’m just old enough to remember the 1970s when L...