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Public Sector: Pay

Question for Treasury

UIN 157538, tabled on 22 April 2022

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the recent civil service and public sector pay freeze on the disposable income and wellbeing of civil service and public sector workers.

Answered on

28 April 2022

The Government recognises that public sector workers play a vital role in the running of our economy, and in delivering our world class public services.

In the face of huge uncertainty and the unprecedented impact COVID-19 had on the economy, the Government took the difficult decision to temporarily pause pay rises for the majority of public sector workers at Spending Review 2020.

This helped protect jobs at a time of crisis and ensure fairness between the private and public sectors as the private sector saw suppressed earnings growth and increased redundancies.

The Government also protected the lowest paid, with 2.1 million public sector workers earning less than £24,000 (Full Time Equivalent) receiving a minimum £250 increase. Due to the uniquely challenging impact COVID-19 had on our health services, the Government also provided a 3% pay award to over 1 million NHS staff.

On average, those working in the public sector have a better remuneration package than those in the private sector, including substantially more generous pensions. COVID-19 has also demonstrated the significant value of job security in the public sector. The temporary freeze meant the gap between the public and private sector did not widen further.

Spending Review 2021 confirmed that all public sector workers will see pay rises across the whole Spending Review period (22/23-24/25).

Answered by

Treasury