George Osborne’s unjust Conservative public sector pay freeze

Summary piece, with anticipated savings, on the very good Left Foot Forward blog, along with a link to a comparison with Labour’s.

Preparing for a pay freeze for the higher earners is definitely a good idea – but only public sector? Starting at the arbitrary wage of £18k? Osborne claims more in expenses for mortage interest than £18k.

Peston says that it’s not firm, that it’s a shot across the boughs in demand of some sensitivity in pay demands. And if you are going to take away the only currency most people understand by way of recognition for good work, how the hell can you think you can get away without replacing it with some other form of recognition?

From the post, the sustainable measures the Conservatives don’t intend to take:

  • They will NOT withdraw the personal allowance on income tax for those earning over £100,000 (worth £1.5bn a year);
  • They will NOT address the anomaly which sees a quarter of all pensions tax relief going to the top 1.5% of savers (raising £3.1bn a year); and
  • They have NOT signed up to the 0.5% increase in all rates of National Insurance Contributions (raising £3.35bn a year).

More on Osborne’s plans:

  • Stumbling and Mumbling’s Chris Dillow casts aspersion, based on his analysis of bond markets (I’m shrugging in ignorance), on the need for deep cuts.
  • Robert Peston looks at the fine print, raises a lot of good questions eg (“Or do they pay what George Osborne has signalled as the new maximum – viz £197,689 (actually presumably it’s a bit less than that, since the Tories would impose a pay cut on all ministers)? But if a newly recruited boss of Royal Mail, or the BBC or the Bank of England were paid less than £200,000 a year, surely all his or her more junior colleagues would also have to see their pay slashed?“) and links through to the Stephanie Flanders and Nick Robinson.
  • Bad idea on turn-off bitchery.
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