From The Guardian newspaper, "Economists were left confused tonight and unions critical about the plethora of public sector pay freezes and pension age announcements by the Conservatives and the government, but said neither party's proposals were close to what is needed to return public finances to health.
Government plans to freeze pay for 40,000 top civil servants and 700,000 other public sector workers were only seen to save £200m-300m a year – a drop in the ocean compared to the £175bn deficit the government expects to run in the current fiscal year.
George Osborne's promise to freeze the pay of 4 million public sector workers earning more than £18,000 a year would save an estimated £3.2bn a year from 2011.
But Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics was unimpressed. "This is small fry compared to the government's existing forecast that borrowing will still be close to £100bn a year at that point, a figure which could prove too optimistic," he said.
"It is clear much deeper spending cuts, probably involving huge cuts in public sector employment, will be needed."
Oh, joy! Wading in as a Public Sector worker, I need to add that some of my colleagues are actually claiming Tax Credits to top up their wages, as our rates of pay have lagged a long, long way behind the private sector for many, many years, and for at least 20 years, we received eensy-weensy, meagre pay rises that didn't match inflationary hikes...
So, targeting those of us who receive less than the average salary, i.e. they're planning to target those earning from £18k, is appalling IMHO... I have no qualms about the rich being taxed more, or those that earn, say over £50k, but there are precious few public sector folk in those categories...
I think the general public is often very deluded as to how much the majority of Public Servants earn, and the reason many of us have stuck to it as a career, (she snorts hysterically at the prospect of her career slooshing, so it is, away down the plug-hole!), is as a result of living in certain less economically robust areas of the UK, and/or during an economic climate, (Eighties/Nineties, anyone??!), where there weren't other jobs to just stomp off into, and ultimately, our pension on retirement was reasonable, (and that isn't non-contributory either, we do pay towards it...and they've already started eroding that, and our terms and conditions! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!)
Sorry, bit of a rant there, but I have no doubt that there will be industrial action, given that my own office, (and, I am aware, many of our equivalents across the public sector), has shed two thirds of its staff over 3 years, and all the work those folk used to do is still on our desks. We're all just 'shouldering it' because many of us still believe in offering a decent public service, Goddess Wiki help me, I don't know why!), and I'll be on the picket line, placard in hand, rest assured...
Note: "The average advertised UK salary is £31,290 a year (2007)
Outside London, Scotland is the region with the highest average salary at £29,036. And Gwynedd has the highest average salary for a county, at £35,071.
These figures are from the first Monthly Salary Index published by jobs website AllTheTopBananas.com, which carries one in three UK vacancies.
The full regional figures are:
London - £37,991
Scotland - £29,036
East Anglia - £28,673
West Midlands - £28,665
South East - £28,132
Wales - £27,447
South West - £27,035
North West - £26,613
Yorkshire - £26,060
North East - £25,699
East Midlands - £24,940"
Public Servants aren't faceless - They're the ones teaching your children, delivering your babies, caring for my sick uncle, paying pension to retired folk, finding your son a new job, dealing with threats of terrorism, fighting crime in the so-called homeland, planning your roads and helping to deliver promises of new social housing...
Er, does anyone need this soap-box now that Fhina has finished with it?! It's nearly new, pre-loved and hardly used... Mind you, the top is almost all worn out from me standing on it all this time in Blogland!
As ever, feel free to chuck in your two-penn'orth - My lace bonnet's just down there if you want to lob a copper coin into it!
Ta muchly, m'loves!