FDA challenges “too high” civil service pay allegations

7 Aug 17

Claims by a government minister that senior civil service pay needs to be restrained have been criticised by the FDA union.

The Daily Telegraph last week reported that international development secretary Priti Patel had described the pay of top Whitehall officials as “too high” and “crazy”.

She was reported to have made the comments about salaries of around £300,000, which roughly 150 senior civil servants earn.

Her alleged comments come after the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) urged the government to raise pay for top public sector chiefs by 1% amid concerns that capped pay was damaging the sector.

Responding to the reports, FDA general secretary Dave Penman said: “This latest misrepresentation of public sector pay from ‘sources close to’ the international development secretary demonstrates a blatant disregard for the government’s own research.

“The source peddles tired myths about public sector perks and claims that pay is ‘out of step with many other comparable external roles’ – despite the government’s figures showing that directors general earn 62% less than their private sector counterparts.”

He stated that, across the senior civil service, take-home pay has dropped by 23% in real terms since 2010 and highlighted the comments of the SSRB which last month warned that the current approach to top level pay was “damaging morale” and increasing the risk of recruitment and retention problems.

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