Give the public sector a break

MP Alan Campbell
MP Alan Campbell

It will be interesting to see how well the domestic tourism industry has done this summer.

The weather has been variable but with the post-Brexit Pound at virtual parity with the Euro, foreign destinations are less affordable.

The reality is, however, many families find it hard to manage week by week let alone afford a holiday.

With pressure on household income the spotlight has fallen on wages, particularly in the public sector.

Unison’s excellent Pay Up Now campaign is highlighting the effect of the public sector pay cap.

A public sector worker on median wage in 2010 was first subject to a two-year pay freeze then a one per cent pay cap ever since, which has meant wages have dropped by £3,875. That’s the equivalent of an average family’s annual food bill.

Keep the cap in place through the next Parliament and pay will drop a further £2,202.

What that means for police officers, nurses, teachers and prison officers is that between 2010 and 2015, wages have fallen by over ten per cent.

Pay restraint in the aftermath of the banking crash was necessary, continuing the squeeze is not.

With private sector pay rises three times higher and top bosses’ pay up by almost 32 per cent, there’s a question of fairness.

But there is now also a serious problem with recruitment and retention across the public sector.

It’s time to give public sector workers a break – we’d all benefit from that.