19 July 2019
News that the government will allocate another £2bn to public sector pay rises next week has been branded vain and insulting.
According to a leak to The Times, new plans to be unveiled on Monday (22 July 2019) will see police officers get a 2.5% raise, soldiers a 2.9% increase, dentists and consultants a 2.5% bump to their pay, senior civil servants a 2% boost and teachers and other school staff a 2.75% raise.
But it has been reported that most of the funding for the pay increases will come from existing departmental budgets, risking further squeezes on already cash-starved services.
Unison Assistant General Secretary, Christina McAnea, called on the government to “stump up the extra cash for any pay increase”.
“Otherwise, services at breaking point will have to be cut further, close altogether or lose yet more staff. Public servants keep this country running and hold communities together. They all deserve a proper wage rise, but not at the expense of the services they deliver with such dedication,” she explained.
McAnea posited that Theresa May was primarily “motivated by concerns for her legacy” and not by a “genuine desire” to recompense the millions of public sector workers hard-hit by austerity.
Meanwhile, Labour branded the planned raises as “insulting”, given that they still fall below the average rate of wage growth in the UK, which is 3.5%.
“After years of holding back the pay of our dedicated public sector workers, it is shameful for the government to pay for ending the public sector pay cap with more cuts,” Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, said.