Pressure mounts on Downing Street after Scotland scraps public sector pay cap

Pressure mounts on Downing Street after Scotland scraps public sector pay cap

Prospect union has welcomed the statement by the Scottish Government that it is to lift the 1% cap on public sector pay for 2017-18 and will base future rises on “the cost of living”.

Scottish Parliament

The new work programme for the Scottish Government, announced on 5 September, says: “We will remove the 1% pay cap from 2018-19. Future pay policy will take account of the cost of living, continue to protect the lowest paid and ensure public sector budgets remain in balance.”

Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of Prospect, commented: “The Scottish Government has thrown down the gauntlet to the prime minister over public sector pay.

“Scottish ministers have recognised the current pay cap is unsustainable, damaging to recruitment and fails to mark the important contribution public sector workers make. They also recognise the pressure of seven years of austerity on the ‘real life circumstances’ of public service workers and their families.

“This clear position contrasts the leaks, counter briefings and confusion we have seen from Westminster. The UK government must act now and lift the cap.”

Graham was also quoted in Civil Service World, where he stressed that the UK government must include civil servants in any move to remove the pay cap.

“The anger amongst our membership as to how they have been treated is palpable and rising,” he said, adding that ministers cannot hide behind the pay review bodies that cover some public sector employees such as nurses.

“The vast majority of civil servants are not covered by the review bodies and they deserve a fair deal as well. Ministers cannot be allowed to cherry pick and the civil service cannot be left behind.”