Public Sector Salaries: Private sector rewards still lead: Comparisons

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The Independent Online
TOP civil servants will remain the 'poor cousins' of their private-sector equivalents after the Prime Minister sanctioned a 2.75 per cent increase for the most senior grades, writes Barrie Clement.

The latest official figures show that while the Cabinet Secretary, the most senior official in the Home Civil Service, earns more than pounds 140,000, his private-sector equivalent receives more than pounds 400,000 a year. A grade three civil servant - or under-secretary - gets pounds 65,000, but his colleague outside Whitehall earns pounds 98,000.

Jonathan Beaume, of the First Division Association (FDA), the union representing senior Whitehall officials, says that the further up the scale in the civil service, the wider the gap gets.

Nevertheless, the increases sanctioned by the Government yesterday, which varied between 2.75 per cent and 3 per cent, compare favourably with settlements in the private sector, most of which are nearer 2 per cent.

The FDA's general secretary, Elizabeth Symons, welcomed the Government's decision to implement the recommendations of the Senior Salaries Review Body, but pointed out that most top officials would not receive an automatic rise. The Government agreed to implement a 4.75 per cent increase in the budget for performance pay.

Most of the other employees covered by the pay review groups earn similar amounts to their private-sector equivalents. According to the Independent Schools Information Service, about two-thirds of them stick closely to the pay available in the state sector. The 300,000 NHS nurses earn slightly more than their 105,000 colleagues outside, but can be attracted to the private sector by a higher initial salary.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ NEW SALARY RATES FROM 1 APRIL ------------------------------------------------------------------------ JOB PAY pounds JOB PAY pounds HEALTH ARMED FORCES Student nurse 7,125-8,260 Army private 8,242 Grade 'G' ward (starting) sister/midwife 16,940-19,600 Corporal (starting) 13,782 Junior house officer 13,590-15,350 Lance corporal 11,187 Consultant 39,625-51,165 Sergeant 16,297 Family doctor 41,910 Second lieutenant 12,990 (average) Lieutenant (on SCHOOLS appointment 17,170 Classroom teacher Captain 21,926 (starting) 11,571 Major 27,828 Head teacher 23,055-52,152 Brigadier 55,958 Head teacher 23,055-52,152 TOP PUBLIC SERVANTS Law Lords 106,644 Judge outside London 55,520 High Court Judge, Permanent Secretary Admiral, Air Chief Marshal, General 92,627 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Source: Pay Review Bodies ------------------------------------------------------------------------