Despite representations from workers and trade unions, and the government making overtures about its intention to move away from the 1% pay cap, the budget has failed to say anything about public sector workers who are not covered by a pay review body.
This is bitterly disappointing for the 55% - nearly 3 million workers in total - of the public sector who aren’t covered by a pay review organisation.
Once again, in many cases, these people are left dealing with a huge amount of uncertainty on how their finances will stretch from month to month.
Even if a pay review body does recommend an increase the Office for Budget Responsibility is assuming that any increase in pay will come from cuts made to department budgets, rather than an injection of funding.
Mike Clancy, Prospect general secretary said:
“Workers can not have been clearer in the run up to this budget that they need a pay rise.
“The government has squandered an opportunity to listen and completely ignored the views and experience of the labour market. As private and public sector wages continue to stagnate the government has turned a blind eye to a growing problem.
“The Chancellor has failed to listen to the public and continues to ignore the facts – public sector workers pay has dropped by 15 per cent in real terms over the last seven years.
“A vague commitment to listen to Pay Review Bodies is no where near enough. 55% of public sector workers are not covered by a pay review body and without the promise of new money any pay rise seems very far off.
“Public sector workers need a pay rise, but instead the Chancellor has condemned them to years of dealing with problems of recruitment, retention and morale.
“Every single public sector worker has shouldered cuts to staffing levels and services alongside falling real pay. This is unacceptable and we will be campaigning tirelessly to get the pay cap lifted.”