06 July 2017
The Prime Minister has refused to end the seven-year public sector pay cap, following a week of u-turns on the issue.
Public sector workers have seen a fall in their wages in real terms as the growth in their earnings falls below the rate of inflation, with GMB reporting that the average worker loses around £3,300 per year as a result.
But Theresa May argued that if public sector workers were given any leeway on the 1% cap on pay settlements, the UK would inevitably face financial collapse.
“Let me remind the right honourable gentleman what happens when you don’t deal with the deficit,” she said in response to pressure from Jeremy Corbyn.
“In Greece, where they haven’t dealt with the deficit, what did we see with failure to deal with the deficit? Spending on the health service cut by 36%. That doesn’t help nurses or patients.”
Elsewhere, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told Radio 4’s Today programme that a decision on the pay cap is “a matter to be addressed at future budgets”.
This comes after the government quietly released a report that showed public sector workers in the ten main public sector professions had lost around 10% on their wages between 2005 and 2015.