Clegg vows to end era of public sector pay restraint

22 Apr 15

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pledged to increase the pay of public sector workers by at least the rate of inflation for the next two years, and more beyond that.

Clegg said if the Liberal Democrats were returned to power, public sector pay would rise in real terms from 2016, and then above inflation after that, ‘giving millions of workers a real-terms pay rise for the first time in years’.

Addressing pubic sector staff he said: ‘Workers across the public sector have made enough sacrifices. You have done your bit to help get the country back on track.’

The LibDems would issue guidance to the pay review bodies to ensure pay increases in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The pledge means a minimum pay rise of £350 for nurses on £25,000; £420 for police officers on £30,000; and, nearly £500 for teachers on £35,000.

Clegg said the LibDems’ ‘balanced approach’ to the economy, ‘tackling the deficit but doing it fairly,’ meant it was the only party that could make this commitment on public sector pay.

‘If you are a public sector worker worried Tory cuts threaten your job, or Labour’s refusal to deal with the deficit means another year of pay cuts, then only a vote for the Lib Dems will guarantee you a fair pay deal.

‘That’s why the Liberal Democrats believe it is time to end the era of pay restraint. Under our plans, we will give all public sector workers – from teachers and nurses to social workers and police officers – pay rises that at least keep pace with the cost of living every year.’

Most public sector workers received an average pay increase of 1% for 2015/16, although some top-performing teachers could receive increases of 2%.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘Public sector workers have paid a high price under austerity and the harsh economic policies imposed by a government of which the Liberal Democrats were part. No-one could blame them for viewing these latest promises somewhat cynically.

‘With inflation currently flat-lining, it’s easy for the Deputy Prime Minister to make pay promises. What he’s really offering NHS staff and council employees is two more years of their wages standing still.’

 

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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