Letter: Public sector pay

Sir: The announcement by the Chief Secretary on public sector pay confirms why the Prime Minister was right to forgo his pounds 41,000 plus rise, and your leading article is wrong to criticise him.

Yes, we agree that the Prime Minister and his ministers should be paid the salary increases recommended by the Special Review Body last year, as other public sector employees should have received their due increases also.

However, since the rises recommended by the other Review Bodies last year were significantly reduced by staging, and this was after the Review Bodies had taken public expenditure constraints into consideration, it would have been hypocritical in the extreme for the Prime Minister to have accepted his award since it is the Government which is arguing the case for pay restraint.

Depressing public sector pay may serve as a short-term measure to limit public expenditure but it can never be a public sector pay policy in its own right. Neither is performance pay, which you advocate, since it simply redistributes a limited pot of money, demotivating the many to reward the few - as our members have found to their cost in the Civil Service, where performance pay has been established for 10 years.


General Secretary

Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists

London SE1