While pay is being frozen, prices are rising – particularly for staple goods like food and fuel. Inflation (as measured by the RPI) has been 11% from April 2009 (when the pay freeze started) to June 2011.
In order to ‘catch up’ with what salaries were worth in 2008-9, someone on the top of Scale 6 (on £27,009 with London Weighting on the GLPC scale) would need an extra £2970.
The employers have argued that the pay freeze is necessary to save jobs. However, despite the pay freeze jobs are still going. People are getting the worst of both worlds – their pay buys less and they are in fear of losing their jobs. Hundreds of redundancies have been made here in Camden and perhaps 500,000 jobs could go across the public sector nationwide as a result of the cuts.
And it is not the case that we are “all in it together”. As reported here, FTSE-100 company Chief Executives have seen pay rises of 55%. The City and the world of business continue to prove very remunerative for those at the top, while ordinary public and private sector workers face job losses and an erosion of our living standards.