Pay cap: the numbers behind public sector pay Print E-mail

Public sector pay is in the news and it has been the subject of some of the most heated exchanges between Theresa May and Jeremey Corbyn since the election.

But what exactly are the numbers behind the pay cap? Here we take a look at what the data tells us about the cap on public sector pay and the rising cost of living.

For seven years now, public sector workers – people who work in the NHS, for councils, schools, colleges, universities, the police, and more – have not had a pay rise. Their pay has either increased by 0% or 1%.

The problem is, while it may seem that the 1% pay increase was a pay rise, it wasn’t. And the reason is inflation. Inflation – when the cost of goods go up – means that, effectively, public sector workers’ pay is worth less. And prices have been rising by a lot.

We all know that the price of things go up, but when you look at how much they have gone up, and compare that with people’s pay, the difference is shocking.

Between 2010 and 2016 the cost of rent went up by 17%; the cost of electricity went up by 28%; the cost of sending a child to nursery school went up by 21% and the cost of holidays in the UK went up by 27%. Suddenly, you can’t get as much for your money.



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