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Friday 01 March 2019

FDA: Give MPs a pay rise. But give other public servants one, too


MPs deserve a pay rise. It's just that the rest of the public sector deserves one too, the FDA has argued.

On 28 February, IPSA announced that MPs would receive a 2.7% pay rise, following the independent pay review body's recommendations.

While others were quick to denounce the inflation-busting increase, the FDA expressed the potentially "unpopular opinion" that it was right to implement IPSA's proposal. Speaking on LBC's Nick Ferrari Show, General Secretary Dave Penman stated that "independent pay review bodies are set up for a reason. They take evidence, they give recommendations, and these should be implemented in full — whether that’s for civil servants, or that’s for MPs". The General Secretary warned against a "race to the bottom" or an "equality of misery", stating Government and public focus should instead be on ensuring public sector workers all receive fair pay increases. 

Penman has noted, however, that "it’s a pity" that those in Government benefitting from such pay review bodies "don’t pay it forward to other public servants". 
Assistant General Secretary Lucille Thirlby issued a statement underscoring the difference between the treatment of MPs and civil servants. "Last year, the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) suggested an overall 2.5% pay increase for Senior Civil Servants. The Government rejected this independent valuation, and instead capped potential rises to a below-inflation 1.5%," she explained. "This should not be allowed to happen, and we raised this point in our evidence to the SSRB today."

"We will continue to fight for fair pay for our members," Thirlby continued, "and have submitted to the SSRB demonstrating the need for proper increases and positive structural reform.

"We also call on one MP who has enjoyed a pay rise — David Lidington, Minister for the Cabinet Office — to champion civil servants.

"The FDA encourages anyone who believes civil servants deserve better to join this call, and sign our petition." 

In Penman's latest column for Civil Service World, the General Secretary states that the FDA would "like to explore with the Government whether the whole of the civil service would benefit from a review body." 

"Avoiding annual confrontation, and, with the benefit of evidence, starting to address the long terms problems that plague pay at all levels," he noted, "has got to be good for the civil service."

Read his full column on the Civil Service World website.

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