Pay announcement means real terms pay cuts and further cuts to frontline services

Pay announcement means real terms pay cuts for public sector employees and further cuts to frontline services

The Government has today announced it will raid the already under-funded budgets of schools, hospitals, prisons, police services and armed forces, for what amounts to a real terms pay cut for many of our public servants who work in them.

As well as cuts to services, today’s pay settlement will also mean further real terms pay cuts for our police officers, and some teachers, doctors and dentists as inflation runs at 2.4 per cent.

After years of real terms pay cuts for employees in the public sector, the Government is setting public sector workers against each other and against those who rely on public services.

Labour will not accept any pay deal that cuts the salaries of our public sector employees and starves the public services we all rely upon of the funding they need. Labour’s manifesto at the last election pledged to end the cap and budgeted for above inflation pay increases for public sectors workers. Under Labour, public sector pay will be set by genuinely independent Pay Review Bodies or through collective bargaining.

Peter Dowd MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Today’s announcement shamefully takes money away from our schools, hospitals, prisons, police services and armed forces to fund pay allocations for valued public workers.

“Real wages in the public sector are lower today than they were in 2010, yet the reality of today’s announcement is that on top of eight years of cuts to frontline services, and job losses, our police officers, some junior doctors, specialist doctors and dentists are being offered real terms pay cuts.

“Rather than pitting our public sector workers against each other and the services they provide, Labour will end the cap and ensure our valued public sector employees are given the real terms pay increases they deserve.”

Labour reaction to public sector pay detail by sector

On the police pay offer of 2%, Labour’s shadow policing minister Louise Haigh MP said:

“Today the Government has again shown they don’t believe that officers are worthy of the recommendations of the independent pay review body. Today’s derisory award is yet another real-terms cut to officers’ pay.

“It is also a kick in the teeth that there is no additional help from the Government to cover the costs of policing. Instead, police forces will have to fund this settlement themselves, threatening yet more cutbacks in front-line policing just as serious crime is soaring.”

On the Armed Forces pay offer of 2%, Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, said:

“Our servicemen and women are at the heart of our nation’s defences, but under the Conservatives they face increased pressures and an intensifying workload due to a chronic lack of personnel. Ministers must come clean about whether they will be making yet more defence cuts to fund this pay award.

“Labour would get to grips with the crisis in recruitment and retention that is affecting the Armed Forces, including by scrapping Capita’s failing recruitment contract that is simply not delivering for taxpayers or our servicemen and women.”

On the teaching pay offer of 3.5%, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner MP said:

“The pay review body warned that schools are struggling to recruit and retain teachers in leadership roles, and the Government have chosen to give these very teachers another real terms pay cut for the eighth year in a row.

“There is still no information about what areas of funding will be cut to meet the cost of the pay rise. It is time for Ministers to be honest with school leaders and others about where the money will come from.”

On the Prison officers’ pay offer of 2%, Richard Burgon, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, said:

“Despite this pay award, prison officers will still be thousands of pounds worse off due to years of Tory pay freezes and below inflation rises.

“Real terms pay cuts have created an exodus of experienced prison staff that have left our prisons more dangerous than ever. Today’s announcement alone is not going to reverse that and further cuts will make it even more difficult to keep our communities safe and for people to defend their rights.”

On the doctors’ and dentists’ pay offer Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Eight years of Tory austerity has forced a significant real terms cuts in doctors’ pay. The Government’s mismanagement of the NHS workforce has left hospitals and surgeries short on doctors at a time of unprecedented patient demand, indeed GP numbers have fallen by 1,000 in the past year.

“Doctors are overworked and under-supported and Ministers must bring forward a sustainable pay deal which gets enough doctors into the medical workforce to keep patients safe.”