October 2017
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The public sector pay freeze farce – how we taxpayers are being fleeced (yet again)

Early next year, we can expect marches and demonstrations and strikes by furious public-sector unions demanding an end to the Government’s public-sector pay freeze. Angry union members will howl with rage about how they can no longer afford to live because of supposed austerity. But before the self-serving, cloud-cuckoo-land-inhabiting public-sector union barons launch their next grab for our money, here are a few facts:

1. The Government’s supposed pay freeze did not apply to public-sector workers earning less than £21,000 year.

2. Most middle managers and administrators earning more than £21,000 a year have managed to avoid the pay freeze by being moved up within their pay grade. When challenged about this scam for bypassing the pay freeze, public-sector bosses claim they are contractually bound to pay these increases.

3. At the top of the public sector, most bosses, hospital executives, council chiefs and others on £100,000 to £250,000 a year saw that the era of Brown’s profligacy would soon come to an end and in 2008/9  and 2009/10 gave themselves pay rises of between 10% and 20%. At the Cabinet Office, which is a key department in driving through supposed “austerity”, the average pay rise was about 12%. Then, laughably, when the Coalition came to power and demanded pay restraint, Cabinet Office bosses accepted pay cuts of 3% to 5%.

4. Another trick used by bosses (particularly council chiefs and NHS chief executives) has been the “Goodbye-Hello” – they take several hundred thousand pounds of our money for supposed early retirement and then a few weeks later take up a new public-sector job with a six-figure salary.

5. As for our politicians, here the hypocrisy is even more farcical. Our MPs complain that they have had their pay frozen for two years. But the amount our MPs claimed in taxfree expenses rocketed from around £130m in the year up to the election to about £150m last year – a 15% increase – about another £30,000 taxfree per MP. And next year the supposedly Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is going to recommend MPs’ salaries rise from £65,738 a year to somewhere between £85,000 and £92,000 a year.

6. In the Lords, they used a different tactic to profess austerity while actually increasing how much they stole from us. The Lords “limited” the daily rate they could claim to £300 per day. But, at the same time, they changed their expenses system to a SOSO (Sign On Sod Off) one where there was no need to show any receipts to get their money. So everybody could now get the maximum, just by turning up for a couple of minutes a day to sign on.

Our bureaucrats and politicians are stuffing their pockets with ever more of our money and making fools of us all by pretending to be suffering from the same austerity as the rest of us.

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