The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has been criticised by unions after saying public sector staff were being paid a “premium”.
Mr Hammond defended his stance on the Andrew Marr Show, he explained that public sector pay had “raced ahead” of the private sector following the UK’s economic crash in 2008. Public sector workers have since seen ongoing pay restraint and significant real-terms pay cuts.
In the interview, he went on to add that public sector workers also had “very generous” pension contributions and when this was taken into account the disparity between public sector and private pay was a “simple fact”.
When asked about a Sunday Times report, claiming he had said public sector staff were “overpaid”, the chancellor insisted that was not said in a cabinet meeting.
Jeremy Hunt, Health Minister, recently said during a speech to the NHS Confederation that he would “discuss” the pay cap with Phillip Hammond – who would have the ultimate decision.
In response, Christina McAnea – Unison assistant general secretary, said; “The chancellor’s remarks show he is completely out of touch. After seven years of a punishing pay cap, all public sector employees need a pay rise. They are all low paid, all vital, and all in need of a pay rise now. The chancellor’s remarks are nothing short of offensive,”
The Royal College of Nursing is calling for the end to pay restraint for NHS workers in its Scrap The Cap and Summer of Protest campaign.