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Wednesday 24 July 2019

FDA: The SCS pay award isn't thrift. It's Government own-goaling

By Lucille Thirlby
Graham Martin

Assistant General Secretary Lucille Thirlby writes about then Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington's written ministerial response to the 2019 Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) report, and the FDA's stance on the Government's new Senior Civil Service (SCS) pay award.

The SSRB recommended a 2.2% increase for the SCS pay bill. The tiny figure was meant to achieve all sorts of things it could not, from addressing the lack of pay progression to helping to fund specialist pay.

The Government couldn't even commit to this sum, offering instead a 2% average increase instead. Many of our members won't even see that.

This isn’t thrifty saving: it’s own-goaling. The Government pursues the short-term to its own detriment, and fixating on the yearly budget is no way to invest in the future. Focusing on annual pay awards is not the way to guarantee good outcomes or secure the best staff.

Meanwhile, the SSRB recommendation for pension flexibility has been ignored. The negative effect of pension taxation on senior civil servants' remuneration has been highlighted again and again, and the FDA has consistently evidenced the significant tax incurred by our members simply saving for the future. Poor pay increases are being compounded with punitive taxation, leaving our members’ fiscally even worse off.

The Government needs to drop its penny-pinching policy, and focus on proper investment in pay and changes to the pensions tax regime. If we're to have a world-class SCS, it can't be run on a shoestring. 

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