Inflation busting pay rises of public sector “fat ‘crats”

Scores of public sector fat cats received inflation-busting pay increases, according to data prepared by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Hundreds of public sector fat cats received inflation-busting pay increases, according to data prepared by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

News coverage this morning focused on the levels of pay with The Sun showing that “800 fat ‘crats earn £150k” and the Telegraph headlining that “300 public sector workers earn more than Prime Minister”. But the increases may come as a greater surprise, particularly against a backdrop of calls – from groups like the TPA – for a pay freeze on public sector workers and for restraint from bankers in setting bonuses.

Nearly two-thirds of the 648 high paid public sector employees for whom year-on-year data is available received pay increases above 3 per cent. Meanwhile, only 16 per cent of staff saw their pay decrease. Retail prices rose by 4 per cent in 2008 but are expected to fall in 2009. Consumer prices rose by 3.6 per cent last year and have averaged 2.2 per cent so far this year.

John O’Connell of the TaxPayers’ Alliance told Left Foot Forward:

“An average increase of 5.4 per cent would be very generous even when things are going well, and many of these rises are obscene. Given the state of the economy and the huge deficit, public sector workers in general should face pay freezes but the bosses at the top should be taking sizeable cuts. Whether you’re a banker or a quangocrat, taxpayers cannot afford to pay these massive sums, and it would be wrong to demand restraint from ordinary workers while those at the top get fatter and fatter.”

NB: Proportions are indicative because pro rate data for 2007/08 was not available in all cases.

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