Weekly Roundup, 10th July 2017

Weekly Roundup

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3 Responses

  1. Bryan Matthew says:

    On the issue of whether we have or not had austerity to answer the question you need to ask public servants I would suggest who have faced the brunt of that. I was one (civil servant) but was one of 120,000 civil servants who have been laid off since 2010- a reduction of 28% over that period. This is the lowest number we have had since 1945. Add to that 20,000 military personnel who have been made redundant over the same period and you hit 150,000 on that alone.

    In addition, those civil servants who still have jobs have had real pay cuts in that the median civil service salary is now just £23,000. Since 2010, the average civil servant has had a £230 a year pay award but had to pay an additional £450 a year in increased pension contributions and of course once you factor in inflation, they are even more worse off.

    Also, what is not widely reported is that whilst civil servants are asked to contribute more to their pensions, thehe majority have now been moved from final salary schemes to average salary ones- so most civil servants pay more into their pension but get less out.

    I would agree that whilst public expenditure has not reduced as you might expect in an austerity setting- personally and individually there has been real pain- Governments will help fund tax cuts in terms of increased allowances et al by using the opportunity to do what they often want (especialy Conservative) which is to have small government by cuts to numbers, to pension costs and to pay.

    I for example was civilian doctor who treated military personnel (we were much cheaper than say an Army one whose capitation rate was over 100k) but when we as doctors were laid off, guess what? Waiting lists zoomed up and in the end the military , surprise surprise, end up having to bring back as locums some of the people (not me-I am too busy investing!) they laid off – as agency staff do not have NI or pensions paid for them!

    So there has been a lot of pain involved even if you look at the figures you might not believe it-and I know of some public sector workers who do end up going to food banks to supplment their income.

    • Mike Rawson Mike Rawson says:

      Hi Bryan,

      What has happened to public servants wouldn’t affect whether we have had austerity. We’re still spending more than we take in, so we are splurging rather than saving for the future rainy days.

      The truth is that public sector workers are treated better than those in the private sector. They have higher wages, better pensions and greater job security. If public sector workers think things are better in the private sector, they are free to switch over.

      Someone with an average salary pension should be looking down, not up – most of us have DC pensions.

      And food banks tell us little. They give away food for free, so it would be much more surprising if people didn’t use them.

      Best,

      Mike

  2. Bryan Matthew says:

    Hang on Mike- nearly 30% civil servants have lost their jobs-job security you say! And they were told that their jobs were going because of austerity – ditto the pay cap. There is no doubt about that- I was told that face to face with Frances Maude MP the Cabinet Office minister who put together the staff reductions package that it was necessary for that reason.

    And don’t forget whilst the public sector is at a post WWII low, the private sector is at its highest level of job creation since 1999- so much for the private sector having higher job in- security.

    Indeed if those civil servants had not been sacked the deficit would be even greater – the IFS calculated that the savings from reducing the civil service was around £6bn- which I think works out at around 8% of the deficit-not an insignicant amount.

    Yes, people could go and join the private sector but quite often what keeps them working in the public sector is the good they do but that does not mean that they should not be well looked after and paid well.

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Weekly Roundup, 10th July 2017

by Mike Rawson time to read: 9 min
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