Public Sector Pay Rises Will Not Match Inflation, Says Chief Secretary To The Treasury

Public sector workers should not expect wage increases in line with inflation to avoid a repeat of the “destructive” 1970s, the chief secretary of the Treasury Department said.

Simon Clarke said voters must have “a realistic expectation in terms of pay”.

“We value the work of our public servants immensely, our society could not function without them,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Monday.

“But it’s equally important that we look at this in terms of what’s in everyone’s interest, which is that inflation doesn’t take hold like it did in the 1970s, and it was absolutely destructive.”

When asked if that meant government workers shouldn’t expect inflation-based wage increases, Clarke said, “Right.”

“In the current inflation landscape of 9% bordering on 10%, it’s not a sustainable expectation that inflation can be equated in the payout,” Clarke said.

“It’s not something that, frankly, will be seen in both the private and public sectors.

“We can’t get into a world where we’re chasing inflation expectations in this way because that’s the surest way I can think of to bake a repeat of the 1970s that this administration is dying to prevent.”

In a separate interview with Sky News, Clarke was asked if he recognized a summer of discontent amid the cost of living crisis was a “possibility”.

He said, “No — I recognize that this situation involves sacrifices.”

It comes as union leaders accused the government of “stoking up” tensions over the rail dispute several days ago in the travel chaos over train and tube strikes.

Railway and London Underground services will be paralyzed from Tuesday over pay, jobs and conditions in the industry’s biggest strike in more than 30 straight years.

The 1970s saw widespread strike action in the public and private sectors as workers demanded higher wages in the face of rising inflation. Public Sector Pay Rises Will Not Match Inflation, Says Chief Secretary To The Treasury

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