Since 1979, when public service became unfashionable, the Civil Service has been the subject of severe pay restraint and staff cutbacks.
I have four sons, all born between 1955 and 1965. Three are in the private sector (railways, building and advertising). The fourth, who is academically the brightest (first-class degree from Oxford), is a senior civil servant in Whitehall. My private sector boys are paid two to four times as much as the civil servant and in no way would they pretend that this was a justifiable disparity.
By all means let us do away with automatic honours, but in the case of the Civil Service please do not justify this on the grounds that the staff are reasonably paid.