Letter: Public servants' pay

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The Independent Online
Sir: Commenting on news that a member of the Home Office remands contract unit wants to join a private prison company, you suggest that the guidelines covering the post-retirement employment of such officials should be applied more firmly (18 August). Aren't you being a bit hard on senior civil servants?

No doubt you support the system under which senior civil servants have always been paid less than their 'analogues' in the private sector: most people accept that there should be a public service element in their motivation. Recently you have gone further and taken the position that even if, under that system, the independent review body concludes that the civil servants ought to get rises in the region of 30 per cent, the rises should nevertheless be held down to about 3 per cent in the interests of the national economy.

Now you also imply that if a public servant concludes that his pay is no longer sufficient to bolster his motivation and decides to seek employment in the private sector, then he should be allowed to go - but not where his skills would equip him to get a good job.

Is it your position that only people with private incomes should aim for the higher reaches of public service?

Yours faithfully,


Woking, Surrey