Latest Public Sector News

03.07.17

Scottish ministers pledge to lift 1% public sector pay cap

Union members in Scotland have this week marked an important victory as ministers in Holyrood stated that the 1% pay cap on public sector pay would be lifted.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, finance secretary Derek Mackay said that the government recognised that “the time is up for the 1% pay cap”.

It comes after months of pressure from a number of unions to lift the pay cap which has seen some workers pay decrease in real terms by 14% since 2010.

“The Scottish government has committed to lifting the pay cap,” Mackay said. “We will engage with the trade unions. I cannot make a determination today but I will, of course, engage positively with them.

“We understand the situation of people in the workforce on the lowest incomes, whose spending power has reduced as a consequence of rising inflation,” he continued. “That is why we have a position that will take account of the public finances and the cost of living. 

“The first minister has made it clear that it will not be assumed that the 1% pay cap will be maintained next year or in future years.”

The finance secretary added that the government would take into account inflation in the future pay policy, as he noted that Labour had previously proposed basic rate tax rises for Scottish public sector workers.

“We will take a reasonable approach that absolutely recognises that the time is up for the 1% pay cap,” Mackay explained. “Not only will the SNP commit to that, but we will do it.”

Unsurprisingly, the news has been well received by unions. “We welcome the Scottish government's commitment to end the pay cap, which has resulted in a massive decrease in the value of our members’ take-home pay since 2010,” stated FDA national officer for Scotland Allan Sampson.

“With inflation now rising sharply, and predicted to rise further, the removal of this cap is both necessary and overdue. We now have to urgently explore ways to ensure members can benefit from this change of approach as early as possible.”

The change in Scotland will also increase pressure on the English government, which last week voted to keep the pay cap in place – something that was described as “an insult,” to workers by Unison.

Unions have been vocal in lobbying for a change to the policy within central government, as Unison and the PCS last week stated that there was an “unarguable case” for getting rid of the cap.

It also comes after many ministers within Theresa May’s Cabinet publicly voiced their opposition to keeping the cap in place, including environment secretary Michael Gove as well as foreign secretary Boris Johnson – according to the BBC this morning.

Top Image: Andrew Milligan PA Wire

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >