MPs and public sector pay

Today’s gesture to cut back top civil service awards to just 1.5% will make practically no difference to the problem of controlling costs in the public sector, whilst annoying senior civil servants.

I would think it fair if MPs had no pay rise this month, as long as pay rises were cancelled for anyone in the public sector earning more than £50,000. That would make a bit more of an impact, and give all public sector leaders and managers some moral authority to start reducing costs and improving efficiencies throughout their empires.

Sometime the government has to show it understands the magnitude of the public borrowing crisis it is bringing on us. Saying no pay rise to all the better paid in the public sector would be a relatively painless way of starting to wake up to the reality. It should be followed up by reviewng all public sector jobs paying more than £100,000 a year to ask are they needed and do they need to offer such high rewards? Why not link any bonus payments to clear targets for cost reduction and quality improvement in each command, so we get something for all the extra money we are paying these people? If they want to be called Chief Executive they should at least be prepared to take some tough decisions to get costs down, as the private sector is having to do on a massive scale at the moment.

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13 Comments

  1. Demetrius
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    At the risk of repeating myself, if there are some winners in a contracting system, then exactly who are the losers? Amongst them, who are the losers who are suffering disproportionate adverse effects on their incomes, costs borne, and living standards? One such group is the old whose incomes are near to the margins, and who live in sheltered housing with commercial property management services. When is someone somewhere going to admit this?

    • Vernony
      Posted April 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Demetrius,

      I live in Sheltered Housing and I have a couple of pensions. and they are set to go up by about £38 per month this year. However, my combined rent and service charges are set to go up by £77 per month. So where does the extra money come from. Well by reducing my standard of living of course, and incidentally the Government still continues to charge me £2 a week extra on top of my rents for their idiotic rentrestructuring scheme and the rest of the rent and services charges are based upon inflation as it was in September i.e. 5% even though we enter April and the new fy at interest rates at almost zero percent. They tell us that if it is still near zero next september it will be reflected in the rents in 2010 . Imagine the howl which will go up from the RSLs if they cannot charge their tenants raise their rents next year . Its ten to a penny that they will appeal to the Government to at least give them something a ‘token amount’ and of course the Government will grant it . As somebody said to me only the other day ‘nobody knows, nobody cares’
      sincerely

  2. Stuart Fairney
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    If the government is correct about deflation, this is in effect a double rise. Of course, they probably aren’t (it’s just too convenient an excuse to justify printing money) and they have to keep the client state happy.

    Don’t want the local council officer voting Lib-Dem now do we.

  3. FatBigot
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    No doubt the task of limiting public sector pay is made all the more difficult by the strength of the public sector unions. All the more reason to cull the public sector of all its unnecessary functions and allow as much of the country as possible to live in the real world where salaries can go down as well as up.

  4. Ian Jones
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The public sector really has no clue how much more money it is getting than the private sector. Their pensions are worth 30% of salary for most and much more for the police.

    The public sector unions really have the Govt by the short and curlies and are squeezing the life out of the UK.

  5. Chris lancashire
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I honestly don’t think you go far enough on this one. When a company is failing it is routine to ban ALL pay rises and, if the top management has any “moral compass” they take a pay cut. I have personal experience of this.
    If you accept the analogy then there should be absolutely no increases for the public sector for at least the next 12 months.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Good job they are not in the Construction industry, many workers are having to take a 40% pay cut.

      Self employed also I am told do not appear on any jobless total when they have no work, if so add another 1,000,000 to the figures quoted.

      Pay rises, they do not know how lucky they are.

      About time those that work for any Government/Local Authority Department realise that they are all a cost, they produce absolutely no wealth at all.

      Clearly you have to have some people in Public jobs to teach, nurse, police, fire etc in a civilised society.

      But lets us get the balance right, before its too late.

      At the moment we have far too many being carried by the few wealth makers in this Country

  6. mikestallard
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    From the Fens it looks like this:
    1. We live in a democracy where we are served by our elected MP. The MPs make the laws which we all obey because, as far as possible, they are made by us, or by people who represent and understand us.
    2. We all know this isn’t true (EU) but we shut up about it.
    3. Our MPs are now way up in the very highest paid echelons of society. They are paid astronomic amounts of money. They are the modern aristocrats or, to quote Milovan Djilas, they are the new Class. they neither understand us nor live like us.
    4. So why should we obey their laws? (Foxhunting, smoking, being constantly monitored, not being allowed to chalk on pavements etc etc).

    That is why this blog is so very unusual – not unique thank heavens! – in that one of the new class actually listens and acts on what we, the plebs, tell him!

  7. Robert
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    God it’s like watching paint dry failed politicians telling others how it should be done, yet they failed themselves.

  8. Neil Craig
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I would be happy to see MPs & possibly even top civil servants, getting a massive bonus if government spending reduces or our GNP growth reaches the world average. While GNP is falling & those who do not work in the government sector are losing their jobs I see no justification for rises.

  9. Bernard Dugdale
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    If there is a silver-lining to all this, don’t forget that no public-sector union can have any strength at all if the money has literally run out. And the money is about to run out.

    Negotiations with people and businesses with no money are notoriously short and unrewarding, no matter who’s doing the negotiating, or how tough they think they are.

    It will be very interesting.

  10. Mark Brentano
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I’ve worked in the NHS and seen the level of overstaffing, useless management tiers, and non-jobs. It seems to me that in times of unparalleled recession, the public sector will of necessity start to behave like the private sector, and jobs will have to be shed to balance the books.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    But MPs are getting a pay rise aren’t they of 2.33% and a massive dollop of cash to top up the best pension scheme in the land? There is a disconnect between MPs and the people they are supposed to represent and they had better wake up to it before there is serious trouble.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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