Public sector pay grows 4.1 per cent amid coronavirus crisis

Public sector pay grows by 4.1 per cent amid coronavirus crisis with MPs set to benefit – as private sector flatlines

  • ONS figures show public sector pay rose at annual rate of 4.1% in latest quarter
  • By contrast regular pay in the private sector flatlined after shrinking for months
  • MPs are set to benefit from the public sector pay rises as salaries are linked 

Public sector pay was growing by 4.1 per cent in the last quarter despite the coronavirus crisis, figures showed today.

The annual rate for public workers for June-August came as the private sector flatlined, recording zero change.

The grim picture emerged in the latest data on earnings released by the Office for National Statistics.

The public sector has so far been spared much of the furlough pain, pay cuts and layoffs in the rest of the economy. 

MPs are set to be among the beneficiaries of the increase, as their salaries are linked to the figures for October – although some are calling for the rise to go to key workers instead. 

According to the ONS, regular pay in the public sector was 4.1 per cent higher in June to August than the same period last year, while the private sector flatlined

The annual rate of change in total weekly earnings in the private sector in August alone looked slightly brighter at 1.3 per cent – although it was still far below the public sector at 3.6 per cent

According to the ONS, regular pay in the public sector was 4.1 per cent higher in June to August than the same period last year.

By contrast, the private sector saw zero annual growth. In the construction sector, pay was down 5.3 per cent, while wholesaling, retail, hotels and restaurants remuneration was 1.8 per cent lower.

The annual rate of change in total weekly earnings in the private sector in August alone looked slightly brighter at 1.3 per cent – although it was still far below the public sector at 3.6 per cent.

MPs’ annual pay rises are set independently by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which has linked them to figures for public sector pay rises for October – due to be published in December.

That particular measure came in at 3.7 per cent for August, down slightly from 4.1 per cent in July.

Sir Keir Starmer yesterday blasted the idea that MPs, currently paid around £82,000, should get an inflation-busting pay-rise in the middle of the  economic crisis.

The Labour leader called for the cash to be given to key workers instead in ‘this year of all years’ after their long hours of dedicated work throughout the pandemic.

Sir Keir told LBC radio: ‘We shouldn’t have it.’

Downing Street has so far dodged saying whether Boris Johnson supports the rise. 

The Labour leader said yesterday that politicians should not receive a rise that could take their salary to around £85,000 during the coronavirus meltdown

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