UK public-sector pay rises at new low
Published 02/07/2010 | 05:00
BRITISH public-sector pay increases averaged less than 1pc in the quarter to May, making it the smallest rate of increase in almost 50 years.
The median raise in salary agreements fell to 0.8pc, compared with 1pc in the quarter through to April, as government departments squeezed spending, UK Incomes Data Services said.
"The figures show that the freeze has already begun and there is every prospect that some groups, such as local authority staff in England and Wales, will face a three-year pay freeze," Ken Mulkearn, editor of the IDS report, said in a statement.
"This is in contrast to the private sector, where the proportion of freezes has stabilisd and the number of higher-level awards has increased," he said.
Pay freezes in the private sector account for one-in-10 wage agreements, compared with 40pc of those in the public sector, the report showed.
More than 1.3 million state workers had their salaries frozen in the quarter. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne last week announced the deepest spending cuts since World War II and higher taxes to cut the UK's record budget deficit.
The report shows government departments are already curbing pay before a planned two-year wage freeze starts in 2011.
Britain will have to shed 610,000 public-sector workers over the next five years as the UK coalition government cuts spending, the country's new fiscal watchdog said.