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Regional pay demand based on faulty data

Treasury demand for regional pay based on faulty data

The Treasury demand for the civil service to reduce pay outside the South East is based on faulty statistics, says Sue Ferns, Prospect head of research, in the first of her new monthly blogs on the Guardian Public Leaders' Network website.

By the end of May, the Treasury expects all civil service bargaining units to submit three-year pay strategies explaining how they will introduce more 'market-facing' pay structures – or, put more bluntly, lower pay outside London and the South East, Ferns writes.

The request was quietly buried in the Treasury pay remit guidance for the civil service issued on budget day (March 21). Just a week later, the Office for National Statistics reported a public sector pay lead of 7.7% to 8.7% over the private sector.

Ferns' piece points out that the ONS itself admitted significant omissions and caveats in its own report – though the potential for its findings to be misused by politicians and unsympathetic media should have been recognised.

She spells out key arguments why public and private sector pay have to be compared on a like-for-like basis. Read the full article.

Prospect members are also invited to join the GPLN, which is free, to receive regular updates on the site's content.


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