Thank you to all those who have been in touch about the Government’s policy on public sector pay.
I realise many feel strongly about this issue, and I absolutely appreciate your concerns. I work with public servants every hour of every working day who work to improve our country and deliver the crucial public services that we all benefit from on a daily basis. I am wholeheartedly committed to ensuring our public sector is effectively staffed and those who work in it are effectively supported.
Of course this has to be done in a way that follows the evidence and is affordable to all taxpayers. Since I became an MP in 2010, the deficit that we inherited back then is now down by three quarters. Yet achieving this has entailed many difficult decisions by the Government, and while we raised pay for the lowest paid public servants, we have generally followed the advice of pay review bodies which recommended very low average pay rises. This has been necessary to ensure the Government is not racking up a huge debt for future generations to pay off. We must keep control of public finances - we have seen in the past what happens when that doesn't happen.
The pay restraint since 2010 has resulted in saving 200,000 jobs in the public sector than would otherwise have been the case. These are the sort of trade offs that exist in reality.
The question of allowing the pay cap on public sector workers is rightly kept in constant review. There is a fair and independent process that regularly considers this questions and which makes recommendations to the Government. The independent pay review bodies look at each area of public sector pay, looking at a range of factors like demand, retention, and affordability, and makes recommendations based on this review.
This review is due to take place later in the year and it is important that the Government allows for this process to take place, so as to ensure that whatever government decisions are made on this area are evidence-based and are thus made in an informed and responsible way. I look forward to seeing these recommendations and reflecting carefully on them.
Thank you again to all those who have contacted me about this matter. If you would like to get in touch with me again on this or any other matter, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org