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Civil Service

What the Budget means for the Civil Service

Sir Jeremy at the Civil Service Board meeting, January 2015Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the first Budget of the new Parliament. His statement sets out the Government’s strategy for growing the economy, restoring public finances, rewarding work and supporting aspiration, with a range of major changes to taxation, spending and economic policy. The Summer Budget of 2010 did much to set the course for government over the last Parliament, and I expect that yesterday’s will be just as important in determining the future course.

As civil servants, the Budget matters to all of us. It sets the priorities the Government intends to achieve, which it is now our role to put into action. It also directly affects us as people who work for the government, and you will no doubt want to know how yesterday’s announcements will affect your employment. Several parts of the Budget are relevant here.

Further savings

Firstly, the Chancellor has set out the overall expected path for the public finances, with the remaining savings of £20 billion to be identified through the Spending Review, concluding in the autumn. The level of further savings needed is clearly still large – although smaller and phased in more gradually than those indicated by the March Budget. Finding them will require all departments to achieve further efficiencies in how they are run. The Government has decided to maintain overall levels of spending in some key areas (the NHS in England, international development, and – announced yesterday – defence and security). In other areas, the rate of reduction needed is likely to be around that achieved over the last Parliament.

Secondly, in order to contribute to savings in departmental spending, the Budget has announced that public sector workforces will be funded for a pay award of 1% a year for four years from 2016-17, which will be applied in a targeted manner within workforces, to support the delivery of public services. In practical terms, this means that departmental budgets will be set to allow pay for civil servants to rise by an average 1% each year, in cash terms. To put this in context, inflation is currently at 0.1% – below the Government’s 2% target.

Finally, the Civil Service will play its part in securing the step change in apprenticeships that will allow young people to acquire skills, training and professional experience. The apprenticeships levy announced yesterday provides an extra incentive for departments and public services to provide apprenticeships, and we in the Civil Service certainly intend to increase the number, range and quality of roles for apprentices in response.

Summer Budget 2015 document

Considered decisions

In terms of what this means for each individual department and its staff, the Budget cannot give all the answers. Months of detailed work are now needed to set each department’s budget through the Spending Review process, and to develop delivery plans for providing first-class public services and meeting the Government’s policy aims, while achieving the savings needed to repair the public finances.

Through this rigorous process, departments will be able to take considered decisions on the size and shape of their workforces, on the pay awards that will support this, and on managing redundancies that might arise. That inevitably means a period of unwelcome uncertainty – but it is vital that the Government takes the time to get the choices and trade-offs right. I want to be clear now, though, that while departments will have hard choices to make in deciding where savings will come from, there is no planned target for reductions in Civil Service numbers.

What will not change is that, as civil servants, we will need to continue to innovate, become more efficient and improve public services. Since 2010, we’ve made huge strides in modernising ourselves. We have shown that it is possible to make savings and still provide excellent services – in fact, that a leaner Civil Service, open to new ideas, can be better and more productive. You should all be hugely proud of what you’ve achieved over the last five years. By working smarter and rooting out waste, you helped make efficiency savings of £14.3 billion in 2013-14 alone.

Making a difference

The Budget renews the challenge of getting more value from taxpayers’ money, of doing more for less and bearing down on the deficit. The Civil Service is not alone in facing this challenge, but it has set an example for others in how it has tackled it.

Sir Jeremy meets Border Force staff at Manchester Airport
Sir Jeremy (centre) meets Border Force staff at Manchester Airport

On my trips around the country, I’ve seen at first hand how civil servants are making a difference. In March, I saw in Manchester how co-operation between local and national agencies is having an impact in clamping down on illegal working and the exploitation of migrant workers. And last month, in Newham, East London, I saw how collaborative partnerships between the local authority and the police are tackling rogue landlords and overcrowding.

There can be no let-up in looking critically at how we work, finding better, quicker, smarter ways of doing things, and putting more services online. To do this, and satisfy an ever-more demanding public, the Civil Service needs to have the right skills. It must attract the best people, from every part of society. It has to value differences and make everyone feel they are included and have an equal chance of succeeding. And it needs to be more unified, so that departments are more joined up and you are more able to move between jobs.

Because I know you need support and the best tools to do the job, we are building skills in crucial areas (digital, commercial, project delivery, as well as leadership), improving workplaces and IT, removing the barriers that are holding back talented people from under-represented groups (the Talent Action Plan), and strengthening the core, cross-government functions that underpin services.

Exciting and enterprising

The Budget gives new urgency to the changes already under way, replicating the sort of adaptability and innovation I’ve seen in Newham, Manchester and elsewhere. As well as making us better at what we do, I want those changes to keep the Civil Service among the most exciting and enterprising places to work, while maintaining the core public service ethos that makes it – and us – different.

The Civil Service I want – and that my conversations with civil servants tell me you want, too – is more diverse and inclusive, rewards excellence wherever it’s found, and challenges itself to deliver better services that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Stories like that told by the team at Civil Service Local North West – who treated the recognition of a Civil Service Award as a spur to be even better – encourage me that we’re getting closer.

Yesterday’s Budget makes continuing progress imperative. Given the way civil servants rose to the challenge of the last Parliament, and with finding new ways of working steadily becoming part of our DNA, I am confident that we will succeed in this one too.

Thanks for all your comments. We have passed them on and the comments for this post are now closed.

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  1. Comment by Anon posted on

    Iain, on the subject of the lack of scope to progress to the maximum rate for your grade, what makes Defence People Services think that, at the same time as the Government release the news that we're only getting a 1% pay rise for another four years, it's the right time to issue a Reward Special that sets out the minimum and maximum for each grade? Nothing like rubbing salt in the wounds I'd say.

  2. Comment by Maureen posted on

    I like most civil servants, are disgusted with the 1% we have been given. How can the Government say employers should give emplyees a decent wage, when they are doing completely the opposite to thousands. Cameron,s government is just Thatcher in a suit.

  3. Comment by Phil posted on

    From next April it will get even worse when the Contracted out National Insurance ceases and you have an increase of National Insurance of 1.4%, I will loose around £15 a month as a result. Just to rub salt in the wounds!!

  4. Comment by Dave posted on

    Less pay and pension, increased workloads, increased stress related absences. And the goal posts moved at the last possible moment by our SMT re perfomance related pay !!!!! 'Hugely proud' isnt the term which springs to mind if im being honest ! So out of touch with the reality of the situation that its scary !!!!!

  5. Comment by David posted on

    As expected, not a whiff of a response from Sir Jeremy or anyone of consequence. I also hear from my Union representative that the DWP management's intention in future years is to only award bonuses to those who receive a 'Top' assessment, and it was only by the grace of God (!!!!) that we received it this year.

  6. Comment by Chris Taylor posted on

    Sir Jeremy,
    Just 2 questions:
    1) Are you planning to reply to any of the very serious issues that your Civil Servants have raised on this Blog?
    2) Don't you sometimes wish that you had never said anything?

  7. Comment by RM posted on

    I agree with all the above particularly with Neil Daws who rightly points out that no-one with the power or will to do anything about this will read this. I suppose its just venting frustration.

    So "Britain deserves a pay rise", its nice to know that the hard working public sector doesn't count in that statement when a 1% cap on the total departmental wage bill means a cut in real terms. Its particularly frustrating that its presented in such as way so as to sound like everyone gets 1% when we know that isn't what happens.m Like many above I'm particularly frustrated and angry about the removal of pay progression / spine points and the failure to replace it with any way of moving through the salary band. The disgraceful PMR system means that I - like many others - am ranked against people who earn many thousands of pounds more than I do with no means of catching up.

    I remain civil servant because I believe in public service and genuinely care about what I do and doing it well but it's becoming increasingly hard to remain motivated in the face of continued requirements to 'do more with less' whilst being repeatedly being slapped in the face over pay, pensions and T&Cs.

  8. Comment by Totally Hadit posted on

    Chris Taylor – 10/07/2015, I believe has stated our case very well. I’m sure these are the sentiments of most Civil Servants. When I think of the way they have treated us in regards to our pay I feel totally aggreived. The continual errosion of pay, pensions, compensation and conditions over the years have been devastating to us as a people group.
    I’ve had to deal with the absence of a Line Manager for the past 2 1/2 years and the cut in post of 2 Clerks. As a result of the pressure of work 2 of my colleagues have been off on longterm sick, all for what?
    I for one have given the Civil Service 36 good years, roll on retirement. If I had my life all over again, I wouldn’t entertain the Civil Service!!!

  9. Comment by Trev H posted on

    I believe Sir Jeremy that you should listen to the above comments very carefully, as to retain a good and efficient workforce in this day and age a 1% pay rise for each year for what will be six years, and no movement in the spine point system is not the way forward. Every civil servant strives to do the best they can to achieve all challenges and tasks that they have been given, to get the job done and keep the machine (biigger picture) up to date and constantly moving forward. This so called reward is quite frankly not the way to treat a loyal workforce, and as some have mentioned before an insult as far as the pay structure is concerned.

  10. Comment by carl martin posted on

    I have contacted my local MP regarding pay conditions and lack of responce for anyone one senior on both here and in my department
    I suggest you all do the same we need to work togather.

  11. Comment by Wendy Turner posted on

    Please, don't insult our intelligence; we know how the budget will affect us.
    Our pay will remain stagnant at best; my best hope for an increase in take home pay this year is the rise in the tax threshold. I've already had a pay cut from the end of last year's 'non-consolidated 'bonus.''
    I think I take home £10 per month more now that I did in 2010.
    It's a shame that the cost of living hasn't only risen by £10 per month.
    More jobs will be cut, we'll be expected to do more work with fewer resources and less pay. Staff are depressed and tired. Sick Absence for mental heath problems is increasing.
    Our lower paid staff who are reliant on tax credits will be thoroughly kicked in the teeth as the Chancellor decides that their pitance is more than they deserve, they could be losing £1000s every year.
    So, don't come and tell us how marvellous and lovely things are.
    Instead of preaching to us, try getting out there and meeting the people who will deliver the Chancellor's promises and then listen to what they say. Not the managers, talk to the AOs who are processing. talk to the HEOs and SEOs who are making impossible decisions. Talk to DWP staff who are bullied into Sanctioning people who have NOTHING.
    Come and get a taste of the real world and then have another think about what you should be saying TO us and what you should be doing FOR us.

  12. Comment by AnonS posted on

    When I worked it out I made it about £10.16 per hour in fours years time. But that doesn't make it any better because I know a cleaner who charges £10 per hour now!!!!!

  13. Comment by Usher posted on

    We can rant and rave all we want on these blogs, no-one in a position of power is listening or even cares.

    Seeing as my wage is now capped until probably when I retire in 20 years time as I'm in the enviable position of being on my maxima pay, I won't even get the 1% pay rise. Last August, after the 3rd year of absolutely no pay rise whatsoever, I was fit to burst with anger and tears. I had had enough. I wanted to scream from the rooftops with frustration and anger. I even went down the route of opening a grievance and a complaint, but was stopped at each hurdle.

    At least with these blogs we can see like minded people in the same boat venting their spleens.

    As a 'band F' AA, I'm on the bottom rung, or maybe the next rung up seeing as I'm on my maxima. My pittance of a wage barely covers my basic living expenses. Holidays? savings? what are they? Decent pay rises are vital to those of us at the very bottom. A 1% pay rise, or should I say 'a kick in the teeth', believe it or not, does not help to pay bills. You can only imagine what sort of difficulties arise from a 0% pay rise!

    Roll on 2020 when the minimum wage will be put up to £9!!!

  14. Comment by Barry posted on

    Interesting how people have focused on the cuts and pay restraints of the last few years, when pay has been steadily cut in my Department since Margaret Thatcher was in power. When the economy was depressed, the Civil Service had to set an example and take a low pay award (one year it was only 0.5% (despite six months of industrial action), and a very short time after, the MPs voted themselves a 11% pay rise - sound familiar?). When the economy was booming, the Civil Service had to set an example yet again, and take a below inflation rise. Also, as many have commented, pay progression (once an annual increase) has disappeared.

    Unfortunately in the public's eyes (even those of my siblings) the Civil Service is still that well paid, middle class job that it was until possibly the late 70's, and so we will see no support from them. My niece - a teacher for only her second year - now gets paid more than me, a 35+ year veteran on the maximum pay scale for my management grade.

    What is now expected is that we will continue to happily deliver great service, although many of us in the front line know that's a lie, with customers waiting much, much longer for pension and benefit awards than they did before the last government’s cuts. Digital technology, many years too late, and benefit simplification to accommodate it, may help reduce that. And we just apologise for the poor service, rather than rightly blaming the Government's austerity measures for it (heaven forbid we tell the truth, even when it is the same MPs who made the cuts that write to complain on behalf of their poor constituent).

    In balance, some years ago I saw Sir Jeremy in front of a Common's Select Committee with Sir Bob Kerslake, , where they were being pounded for a failure to deliver services and Sir Bob (good riddance) just agreed with every accusation (possibly accepting he should delver what is expected with what he was given). Whilst to Sir Jeremy's credit, he did have the bottle (along with some MP's) to suggest that was the problem with wanting an arbitrary 20% staffing saving at any cost. I hope he still dares to point theses matters out to the people in power.

    People complain that their Mars Bar (for example - there is other chocolate based confectionery available) is now only half the size it was 5 or 10 years ago. That's because to keep the price the same or only increased a few pence a year, the manufacturer has to reduce the size of the bar. But amazingly not only does the Government want to keep the price it pays the same (or less in real terms) it wants its 'Mars Bar' to be 50% bigger too... And who are the fools who will willingly do everything in their power to make their dream come true… us! Shame on us.

  15. Comment by Yasser posted on

    Is anyone from the Senior Management going to respond to the questions asked?
    questions that i really want them asking is? Did they challange the low pay rise? Do they really believe that our pay is good? But more importantly, people doing similar jobs across the civil service are not on equal pay. an AO at the top end of pay scale from HMRC is not on the same pay as a AO in DWP etc... Why is this the case?

    Seriously I didn't mind the 1% pay rise, as the Tax Credits always boosted the household income. I had a job and we survived. Now I will be loosing a good chunk of the tax credits and have a small family to feed.

    If the government really wanted to make work pay...then how about atleast making AO minimum pay equal to that of the allowable benefits (£20k approx), as at the moment benefits will be alot more than my wages. Not to mention free prescriptions, dental...etc. Oh and the free time I will have to sleep more, chill out more, kids to the park...

  16. Comment by Kerry Nicholson posted on

    Many respondents appear to be missing one of the key elements of Sir Jeremy's blog '....there is no planned target for reductions in Civil Service numbers' by deliberately not offering respectable cost of living pay rises then many civil servants will be forced to look to the private sector to achieve at least better pay/opportunities - thereby naturally reducing the Civil Service. The shadow of Francis Maude still looms large over the us all.

  17. Comment by Neil Daws posted on

    I really don't know why I'm leaving a comment as only fellow disgruntled Civil Servants will read it. Nobody with the power to do something will read or take heed.

    I agree with most of what has been posted and it is for this reason and others that I have applied for a local Voluntary Early Departure Scheme. I want to jump while I still have something to benefit from and before I am pushed out later for even less. I am an experienced but aging and expensive dinosaur and feel the drift away from public service principles to business principles has irrevocably harmed an organisation I used to feel proud to be a part of. I do not manufacture anything or provide a marketable service that is subject to market forces yet am led to believe we are 'a business'. I feel like I am treated as though I leech off the system like a benefit fraud rather than as a businessman.

    Many a time I have stood and listened to a higher-up telling me how well I have done but:

    -- I need to "improve, do much more, and do it with less." If it gets any less then my already eroded lifestyle (which wasn't great before the pay freeze and 1%-average cap) will deteriorate to an unviable level and even what's left of the pension benefits will wither.

    -- I have been in the Civil Service for 30 years so if I've still "got to improve" then I'm ashamed at how bad I must have been on entry. How on Earth you could bring yourself to employ me at all is beyond me and I am grateful for that charitable act.

    When I joined I signed a contract. I am apalled and saddened that one side has not honoured what I thought was a legally binding document. If I had broken the contract I would have been dismissed yet pay, pension and other committments have been altered at will. Where's the moral, natural and legal justice in that?

    • Replies to Neil Daws>

      Comment by Andrew Sandilands posted on

      "When I joined I signed a contract. I am apalled and saddened that one side has not honoured what I thought was a legally binding document. If I had broken the contract I would have been dismissed yet pay, pension and other committments have been altered at will. Where's the moral, natural and legal justice in that?"
      Very true, Neil, after 28 years as a civil servant I feel totally let down by my employers. I chose a career in the CS because I wanted to do something that would benefit society and because the reward for doing that was a decent pension. Now, as I start to think about retirement, my salary (and consequently my pension) has stagnated, my responsibilities have increased beyond what is possible, and the once clear purpose of my role has become confused. A steady shrinking of the workforce means any chance of advancement has evaporated, and over my head is a constant cloud of doubt as to whether today will be the day my department is axed. Consequently, I, and many others I am sure, just turn up, and do what they have to in order to get through the day. Any desire to do a fantastic job has been killed off. Looking outside, I see many of my less qualified friends acheiving far more - and yet as a civil servant I am still looked upon as being in a cushy job. I don't think those people making the decisions have any real concept of the fact that they are playing with peoples' lives. I hope that one day they realise the harm they have done to countless individuals and to their families.

  18. Comment by Penny Jackson posted on

    Inflation is not 0.1%. The ONS might have been told to get rid of RPI as a national statistic because it provided evidence for uncomfortable truths about what keeping up with inflation really costs, but the real increase in cost of living in this country (unless housing is free, which it isn't for the vast majority of us) is currently 1%. Given we've had several years of pay freezes and pay rises well below even CPI, this isn't even catching up to where we were.

  19. Comment by Jayne posted on


    A lot of your Civil Servant colleagues are analysts. I trust from these comments that you realise this and will recall it in future when you are deciding whether or not to include such ridiculous positive spin on a very troubling issue for most of us.

  20. Comment by Bertie Wusster posted on

    The average 1% pay rise will mean no rise at all for the majority of staff. This is because it will all be gobbled up meeting the National Living Wage for the most poorly paid civil servants, which will need increases well above 1%, unless the Government decides the NLW won't apply in the Civil Service.

    Surprised you didn't include that "context", Sir Jeremy.

  21. Comment by David Nutter posted on

    I note that there is no response from Sir Jeremy to the raft of comments here, or indeed even from one of his staff. Obviously it would appear that our opinions and plight are of little consequence to him. As a previous contributor said, the days of senior managers consideration of their staff are long overdue! 'Fine words butter no parsnips', Sir Jeremy.

  22. Comment by PAUL LUNT posted on

    The latest budget is just an attack on hard working civil servants,it is certainly not a budget for workers no matter how it has been dressed up.We cannot just sit back and take this,much of what has happend to terms and conditions has been imposed on us,we cannot just roll over and accept what is happening.Indeed much of the civil service will be outsorced by the time we get too the next general election.
    While strike action is always a last resort and nobody wants a further reduction in our take home pay this maybe the only option left.Work to rule is another issue which i feel should be strongly discussed,overime bans also.As stated this must be collective action through the union and to quote"everyone in it together".

  23. Comment by David Rennie posted on

    I doubt this regime will be embarrassed at many staff having to receive more than 1% rise within the next 3 years because they wpould otherwise fall below the renamed minimum wage.
    I keep hearing the new buzzwords of "pride" and "proud" here in the DWP. How can I feel proud of an organisation that treats its staff ("our people", sorry) so poorly? I could work for another 20 years yet never reach the maximum within the AO grade and yet I'm only within £1500 of it after 9 years; the only progressions have been instead of a pay rise. Our productivity within the CSA part of the DWP has risen exponerntially in the last 5 years but for no reward apart from massive increases in pointless micro-management and a reliance on threatening staff (especially when they have been off work ill). I belive this regime wishes to manage folk out of their jobs by making life as miserable and poorly-paid as possible.
    I am also fed up of my organisation becoming part of a government propaganda machine. The relentless good news we receive witjhin the DWP does not tally with reality.
    I am looking at taking early retirement

    • Replies to David Rennie>

      Comment by David Rennie posted on

      Pardon my typing errors.....

  24. Comment by ANONYMOUS AA posted on

    Still waiting for our P45s (Redundancy measures) threatened to the AA grade for the last 7 years and which is looming uncomfortably ever closer. This should be a huge wage bill to add to the billions of £s savings. No matter that many of us have been Civil Servants for 20 years, and more, of our working lives. A pretty stressful way to live. Thanks a lot.

  25. Comment by Tom posted on

    As ever, a trite and patronising statement from the a senior. CPI inflation may only be 0.1% at the moment but it has been as high as 3-4% during the period of our pay freeze/paycap over the last 5 years. A large part of the governments savings will come from suppressing public sector pay between now an 2019.

  26. Comment by John posted on

    All departments are working hard to increase engagement levels but any progress is going to be seriously impacted by these announcements, how can we seriously expect people to get innvolved and make things better and then thank them with a pay cut year on year.

  27. Comment by Neil posted on

    As Brian states what are we going to do about it!!
    Our TU's must listen to its members and take some kind of action, enough is enough. The various TU's (GMB, PCS, UNISON, etc, etc) must work and join together to formulate a plan and to send a message to this government that this insulting 1% pay offer is a kick in the teeth, especially for our lower paid colleagues.

    • Replies to Neil>

      Comment by Gary Baldy posted on

      I couldn't agree more, Neil. But then, the workforce need to make sure they strike when asked.

      The number of staff who broke strikes previously, stating 'I can't afford to miss a day's pay', are now reaping what they sowed.
      Had everyone stayed strong, there is every chance we wouldnt be in such a mess over our pay and conditions.

  28. Comment by Darren posted on

    From reading the replies already a theme is emerging. The Civil Service is like a dog with a psycho owner. Pats on the head in public but beaten and abused away from prying eyes. In DWP we have seen 3 years of pay restraint under Brown and 5 years of it under Cameron/Clegg with 4 more to come under Cameron. That will be 12 years of pay restraint and 10 years of denying rightfully earned progression. Like the MPs in the Gov, SMT are seriously out of touch with the real world. Are you going to continue to widen the gap between max and min for another 5 years with lazy 1% across the board rises? I guess SMT have not the brains nor the imagination to do anything else after their performance over the last 5. Gov depts do not pay equally and do not pay fairly and that is a disgrace. How many more of our T&Cs are you going to chip away? Come on just be honest. Congratulations on being consistently egregious. The shop floor has no faith in you.

  29. Comment by B posted on

    I look forward to the £9.00 ph minimum wage. I will finally get a pay rise of significance, although no doubt this will still be significantly less than families on benefits.

  30. Comment by Dave posted on

    I think we need to remember that although Sir Jeremy's comments are clearly of the opposite (private) opinion of most of us, he is still a civil servant himself, bound by the Code which forbids criticism of government policy and therefore he is understandably expected to be the most obsequious member of its workforce. If blogging your actual opinion on government policy could risk your 200k+ pa job, would many people do it?

  31. Comment by Andrew G posted on

    Look. You all seem to be missing the point. It is clear that the Government have the average Civil Servant exactly where that want them to be. Senior Civil Servants are the Governments puppits and will spin everything to suite whilst we role over and have our bellies tickled. No one cares or has any reason to support the lowly minnions within the CS whilst they are doing alright themselves. At the end of the day nothing will change because the public have been manipulated to believe that we earn too much and then retire on gold plated pensions. So settle back, continue to be treated in this Victorian sweatshop way and keep buying those lottery tickets.

  32. Comment by sara posted on

    I agree with the comments about pay and conditions. The Chancellor's comment in the Budget statement that "everyone deserves a pay rise" does not seem to apply to the public sector. Having confirmed that pay rises will be capped at 1% for a further 4 years, that will be a total of 9 years where pay has either been frozen or rises have been below inflation. With teams being shrunk and civil servants constantly asked to do more with less, we are driving good civil servants away.

  33. Comment by Gail Courtney posted on

    I am a union gal - I do strike when we get the `call out'.

  34. Comment by Sue posted on

    I appreciate it doesn't solve the problem of low pay - or hardly any pay. But if we are really to do more with less, it is time to cut the number of Ministers in each department. This would save basic expenses (fewer Private offices, fewer drivers,..) and in the longer-term force some decisions about things that the civil service can no longer do centrally.

    Unfortunately I don't believe this is going to happen. As civil servants, we are often the ultimate turkeys voting for Christmas identifying and making cuts that as individuals we don't support. But those in government are not prepared to apply the same discipline to their own position. The rush for VERS will be quite a stampede!

  35. Comment by Brian posted on

    So what are we all going to do about it then? It's no good sitting around moaning. If we all stuck together and supported our union when they propose strike action (which they surely must do soon) the government would have to take notice. It's no good standing by and letting your colleagues strike for you - we all need to support each other for as long as it takes.

  36. Comment by Dave posted on

    As expected, there is a great deal of genuine anger, frustration and disappointment. I await a response from Sir Jeremy as to how he believes that the lower paid among us can see anything positive about the pay restraint being imposed over the next four (yes, that's FOUR years, Sir Jeremy).
    The mention of redundancies adds to the heady mix of fear and uncertainty. So thanks for that.
    As has already been pointed out so eloquently by a number of contributors, the "Britain Needs A Pay Rise" soundbite sounds both hollow and hypocritical in the context of what is being proposed for the civil service.
    It is particularly galling when we are spun this kind of thing by people in government and at the top of the civil service tree, who wouldn't know hardship if it came to their front door and punched them in the face.

  37. Comment by Gary posted on

    I despair at the senior leadership of the CS when they seek to justify this contemptuous offer in the context of inflation. Quite how stupid they think we and how far removed from the personal challenges of the staff demonstrated in their utterings are, beggars belief. On that evidence how can we hope that will succeed in striving for the laudable ambitions set out in the article. They are just words and meaningless because of the complete detachment of senior leaders from the workforce.
    Show me another organisation anywhere, including the private sector which has proportionately made the acknowledged effeciency savings quoted whilst contnuing despite all to deliver a semblance of the services required.
    Reward for that commitment and effort - zilch! Those that say we don't deserve a decent pay rise should contemplate long and hard that we have clearly actually earned one!
    30+ years as a civil servant and never more dissilusioned about the direction being taken. It's oft said that the people are the organisations greatest asset. Well with all due respect, start looking after that asset please!

  38. Comment by James Stevens posted on

    I agree with Andrew. Vast numbers of HMRC employees will be around £2000 worse off from the cuts to tax credits (based on £16,000 income with 2 children) from April 2016. The introduction of the 'Living wage' will not offset this loss for HMRC staff. The 1% payfreeze won't offset it either. Nor does the increase in pension contributions! Work doesn't pay for the majority of HMRC staff with Children who are facing a significant drop in their overall income.

    Sir Jeremy, do we know how many HMRC staff are affected by the tax credit cuts and what that looks like in terms of an average drop in their overall income (incliding tax credits income)? Do we think it may effact our SR15 productivity assumptions?

  39. Comment by Mark posted on

    In context, 0.1% inflation is still higher than my 0.03% salary increase after taking into account my pension contribution increase.

  40. Comment by Gail Courtney posted on

    I have never felt more like "one of the crowd", as I do NOW having read all of the comments above. I've (for my sins) worked for the Civil Service (Tribunals Section) for 22 years. I'd have done less time for murder, and not have to worry about paying for food, heating or travel expenses. 1% isn't a funny joke. I'm disabled and I really don't need all of this scorn on top of what I have to deal with already.

  41. Comment by Alex posted on

    I agree wholeheartedly with the many comments left following this article. The derisory pay awards over the past few years, compounded by the embarassingly low 1% "pay restraint" announced are a clear indication of the government's poor opinion of civil servants in general (ordinary civil servants that is, not top guys like the MPs and Senior Civil Service). I work with good people who do a hard job every day, and lets face it, the likes of DWP and HMRC staff are hardly beloved by the public. It would be good if staff could be appropriately rewarded for all of the efficiency savings we have made; after all those at the top and in the Commons will be! It would also be appreciated if Sir Jeremy had the bravery and honesty to acknowlege the disappointing nature of the pay awards and admit he could do nothing about it - I would respect him far more. I'm not even going to start on the Tax Credits - clearly the government has no intention of following their own advice to private enterprise to increase earnings sufficiently to compensate for the reduction in tax credit awards for staff either. Oh, and spending review will not mean a "period of uncertainty" but a "continuation of uncertainty" as uncertainty is all staff have had to endure for years.

  42. Comment by cad posted on

    Agree with everything said on all the other comments. The worst thing is the absolute insult from the man who is supposed give us leadership & inspire us. How dare you Jeremy Heywood try and make us feel grateful for zilch by using the current historical low inflation rate to justify the pathetic on-going pay freeze. You should be ashamed and you should also have the guts to publicly apologise to every single one of us for your crass words.

  43. Comment by chris c posted on

    Im sorry but as usual it is down to the hard working staff that have to make all the sacrifices. In my deptarment we have people breaking down in tears due to the stress and strain of their ever increasing workload . Colleagues are working weekends (without pay) just to complete their work. This is not acceptable. But , they shouldn't worry as they are getting a 1% pay increase for four years.
    I quote ''By working smarter and rooting out waste, you helped make efficiency savings of £14.3 billion in 2013-14 alone'' - If this is the case, how about rewarding staff then?
    I also quote ''It must attract the best people, from every part of society'' Im sure the 1% pay increase and cuts in pensions and jobs will definitely attract the ''best'' people.
    Thanks to this budget I will be around 1.5k DOWN a year now due to Tax credit cuts and the pathetic 1% pay increase. Thanks!

    • Replies to chris c>

      Comment by Nobodies Servant posted on

      What is the point in working yourselves into the ground when your only reward is a slap in the face. You are paid to work x hours and in return will receive a salary of x. As an incentive we offer you an average of 1% pay award - non-consolidated - expect you to work longer and receive less. Now we need to make sure we provide only the service we are paid for.

  44. Comment by Andrew posted on

    Jeremy makes no mention of the reforms to Tax Credits. Given the fact that a large number of civil servants rely on Tax Credits, the 1% pay rise belies the government's suggestion that cuts will be balanced by an increase in wages. Surely, if the grand statement regarding making work pay, at the very centre of the budget, was to be in any way believable, the government should have ensured that it's own employees were shining examples of the new way.

  45. Comment by Dee posted on

    I agree it would clearly show that they were prepared to 'Lead' from the front.

  46. Comment by Tom posted on

    What a curious way of discussing the latest pay-cut for civil servants - setting the 1% pay cap against the current, very unusual and unlikely to last, inflation figures of 0.1%. It's almost as though Sir Jeremy thinks the audience is stupid, doesn't have Google and can't look at, for example, this which tells us that, by the end of this parliament, we'll be yet another £100 or more per month worse off in real terms.
    It's ok - it's what we signed up for and it is a genuine privilage being a civil servant, but at least let's be honest about what our political leaders think about us.
    (maybe if those of us who were independently rich promissed to give our pay rise to charity we'd get a better deal?)

  47. Comment by Colin Nash posted on

    Is there going to be another round of VERS?

    • Replies to Colin Nash>

      Comment by Nobodies Servant posted on

      fingers crossed

    • Replies to Colin Nash>

      Comment by John posted on

      Vers as soon as possible - hopefully given the latest budget.
      As one of many civil service staff who rely on tax credits to supplement what passes for a wage, what the budget means is yet another pay cut in real terms...this just can't continue .
      ....Firmly tongue in cheek, a recent VERS leaver in her leaving speech announced that "public floggings will continue until morale improves"....I'm beginning to wonder if this will be the next announcement.....

  48. Comment by Nicola posted on

    I whole heartedly agree with the previous comment about leading by example. It is incredibly easy for MP's to sit in their ivory towers and make life changing decisions about issues and circumstances they know nothing about whilst rewarding themselves handsomely on top of an already very generous pay and reward package. I am confident that this will not be seen by any MP's so I feel it is almost pontless typing this, however I am sp annoyed I can't hold back any longer.

  49. Comment by Dave posted on

    "Through this rigorous process, departments will be able to take considered decisions on the size and shape of their workforces, on the pay awards (what above 1% ?) that will support this, and on managing redundancies that might (or is it will ?) arise.."

    - Lots to look forward to there then.I feel more motivated already.

    "It must attract the best people, from every part of society. It has to value differences and make everyone feel they are included and have an equal chance of succeeding"

    How, given the paragraph above??

  50. Comment by Alan posted on

    Not one mention in the budget (or any other time for that matter) about when our "Frozen Increments" will be unfrozen and given back!
    This generous 1% given to us over the next 4yrs falls short by 33yrs in putting my pay where I expected it to be in 2012!

  51. Comment by Lisa posted on

    As Said above why are MP's excluded from the 1% pay rise? by the end of the 10 year pay freeze a band B in DWP will barely make NMW.

  52. Comment by Adrian posted on

    To paraphrase a recent news article: Highly qualified and trained public sector workers working for the people in ever demanding conditions are awarded 1%, while many of those whose only qualification was that they were slightly less detested than 'the other bloke/lass' get 10%. This is against the background of the first deals for 2015 showing that the median pay award in the Private Sector is 2.1%.

    "We are all in this together"? "For hardworking people"?

    There is a challenge to be raised to and an example set, but it's not in the Civil Service's court.

  53. Comment by Chris posted on

    Interest use of statement "To put this in context, inflation is currently at 0.1% – below the Government’s 2% target.".
    Try this in context :
    2011 - Inflation 4.5%, Rise 0%
    2012 - Inflation 2.8%, Rise 0%
    2013 - Inflation 2.5%, Rise 1%
    2014 - Inflation 1.5%, Rise 1%
    Even if inflation was 0% for the next 5 years, we will still have fallen behind (and we all know true inflation is not reflected in CPI or RPI figures with ridiculous items in the basket).
    The removal of progression in all departments now means the Civil Service have an Archaic Salary structure where staff cannot progress because of pay constraint.
    Having a scale requires either a progression model via service or a progression model via performance - the civil service has neither with any performance pay being non-consolidated.
    Is the next big financial scandal after PPI going to be public sector pay? I am surprised the public sector unions have not yet looked to see if salary scales are actually illegal under Equality legislation.

  54. Comment by Neil White posted on

    If it is a budget for 'rewarding work and supporting aspiration' - then how does a 1% rise, reward and support public servants? In other words the underlying premise is that the low paid in the public and private sector continue to have their aspirations severely curtailed through lack of incentive and opportunity. There is a lot of good to be done 'in' and 'by' the Civil Service but it doesn't help to cover the obvious disappointment this budget brings, with candy cover icing and expect staff to like it.

  55. Comment by Grace posted on

    it is quite disappointing that again pay award has been pegged at 1% and for the next 4years. Nothing has remained the same in costs and living and working in the UK has become a struggle and a juggling act. As a civil servant i work really hard, take all the abuse and deliver the hard benefit reform messages to the public but I do not feel my 28years loyality has been rewarded in any way. Funny enough the only joy remaining for me, working as a civil servant is in seeing the changes in the lives of the claimants that i support. I certainly do not feel appreciated or rewarded.

  56. Comment by Anne(Admin) posted on

    So in the real world we won't be getting a pay rise again!! It is very difficult to concentrate on doing an excellent job when the worry of making ends meet is a constant pressure. Maybe if MP's lived to their salaries with no pay rises and had to pay everything out of that money they would have a better understanding. In all the comments posted this is one area that the powers that be choose to ignore. I could probably have some standard of living if I had a nice expense account in addition to my salary!

  57. Comment by Hugh Neill posted on

    Inflation for civil servants cannot be considered without taking into account the rise in pensions contributions that has eroded their take home pay. Once you do that you get a more accurate picture of how a 1% cap in pay rises has affected them.

    I’m troubled by the 'you should all be hugely proud of what you've achieved' thing. The many who have left will not read those words (or else may laugh hollowly if they chance across them). Amongst that number may be those the civil service failed to retain when perhaps it should have, and who can sometimes be seen returning as agency workers, motivated solely by the desire to earn a wage where once their motivation might have been a higher one. The cost of agency workers in the NHS workers is already receiving media attention. Let's hope we're not next. I'd hate to think that an enthusiastic drive on reduction in permanent staff headcount might ultimately results in greater costs and less cohesive organisations (or society - how do you take out loans, mortgages etc without evidence of steady income?).

  58. Comment by carl martin posted on

    When will the abuse from parliament on the civil service stop. We have had year on year real pay cuts increased pension payments. Reduced conditions and if we dare to improve and get promotion, you end up on a less flexible contract.
    us "Little" people at the bottom of the pond that is civil service are stretched to the max we work hard, and get zero respect from our senior leadership teams in my case Excom.
    It was said by the PM and Mr Osborn that Brittan needs a pay rise, can I ask where is it ????
    I am getting 1% and because as a manager and single farther I get paid £23000 I lose 95% of my tax credits, from next year, also changes to pension contributions means come April I will be £150 worse off a month. What sort of rise is that?

  59. Comment by Mark Valladares posted on

    Sir Jeremy,

    Whilst I note your comment that inflation is currently at 0.1%, I also note from the Budget Report that it is expected to average 1.6% or thereabouts over the four-year period. In addition, whilst the average civil servant will see a 1% increase per annum, if HMRC's experience is anything to go by, those on the maximum of their payscales will see a lot less, and will see their retirement planning impacted by the lower resultant pensions that will result.

    With respect, you are placing a wholly unhelpful gloss on what is a very disappointing announcement for most public servants.

  60. Comment by Ruth posted on

    Having effectively received zero pay rise since 2010, my savings account has been subsidising keeping my family above water. I already earn less than the national average, and, I can look forward to another 5 years of austerity, as I doubt I will be receiving the "average" 1%! Many thanks.

    • Replies to Ruth>

      Comment by Graham posted on

      "Savings" what are those?
      I am unable to put anything into a 'savings pot' as I no longer have any 'disposable' income. My actual take home pay has decreased dramatically since 2008/09 and if true inflation (even CPI) were taken into account I am now earning a couple of hundred pounds less than I was nine years ago. Hence the search for a new job elsewhere which looks like I will be sucessful having been offered double the pay for doing less work. The CS an examplar employer -- I think not it is j

  61. Comment by Mark posted on

    Why do we get a 1% pay rise for FOUR years? Who says inflation is going to remain at it's current low level for FOUR years? Surely pay awards should be decided on a yearly basis to take account of inflation changes?
    Also what about all the years when we got ZERO pay rises? Was inflation at 0% then? Now the country is supposed to be growing out of recession why are we not getting our pay increased to take account of all the pay freezes we had to endure?
    MP pay rises are just a disgrace - if we really are "all in this together" why don't the MP's refuse the pay rise or if they must take it, donate the extra pay to their chosen charity!

    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by Pauline posted on

      Mark, I just worked out my 1% over the next 4 years in 18/19 my pay will have increased by measily £784 TOTAL INCREASE, and I will still probably be at the bottom of my pay scale after 13 years in the grade!!!! Wheras, if working on a modest SCS pay of say £80,000 a year now, means £8,000 payrise just this year and by 18/19 at 10% a year would be a whopping £27,544 TOTAL INCREASE. Yes this is really thanking us for our hard work and dedication. One wonders if the government have actually sat down and worked out the figures!!!

    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by Pauline posted on

      Another calculation, which makes me think the government got it the wrong way round:
      My salary on 10% increase for the next 4 years would increase by £8,961
      SCS on same modest example of £80,000 if they recieved 1% increase for the next 4 years would increase by £3,248. I wonder how that would go down!!! After all "We are all in this together" aren't we??

  62. Comment by Rachel posted on

    How can we provide "first class public service", which is what we all strive for, without the staff to provide such services? Staff are off with stress left, right and centre, due to massive workload increases left by staffing cuts, overtime is a regular occurence and contractors and agency staff are filling gaps. This is all costing the taxpayer much more money than actually having the appropriate number of permanent staff to deliver services.

    Echoing Bryn, I've not spoke to one civil servant who says they want the Civil Service to be "more diverse and inclusive". We want to be able to deliver great service to the public and be paid the appropriate remuneration for that service.

  63. Comment by S Thorn posted on

    I am really concerned that as a Civil Servant my hard work and dedication to providing a public service is not recognised in terms of a decent pay rise. I have been stuck on the bottom of my pay scale for 3 years now and the cost of living still goes up. When are civil servants going to be paid a better rate?

  64. Comment by Bernard Price posted on

    MP's should take note that as civil servants they too should be restricted to a 1% rise in salary and a freeze on their expenses.

  65. Comment by Danny posted on

    The question has been asked within HMRC, but our senior leaders are choosing not to answer so I'll try here. Did anyone at the head of the Civil Service actually stand up to Osborne and say "Look, this isn't acceptable, our people have already had an entire parliament of 1% max non-consolidated awards and to enforce this on them for a further four years will completely erode any good will that they may still hold towards us", or did you just roll over and accept it? Because it certainly seems like the latter. You want more for less from us? You're certainly giving us less, why would we want to give you more when we are so completely, totally, and utterly unvalued?

  66. Comment by James posted on

    Whilst I fully undertstand the economic situation and the need to reduce the national debt I was extremely disappointed to hear that CS pay increases will be limited to only 1% for four years. Another year or maybe two would not have been unexpected but not four. In practice, this is a pay cut, as the 'real' infation rate that most of us face is much more than 0.1%. Pay rises in the private sector have recently averaged more than 1% and whilst I have only seen forecasts for the next year and no further, they indicate that private sector pay will increase by more than 1%. This does not make me feel valued.

  67. Comment by iain posted on

    I cannot be the only civil servant to read this blog with a sense of wake up and smell the coffee.
    Not only are most Departmental Budgets going to be cut even fiurther, many lower paid staff will be adversely impacted by the changes to things like Tax Credits.
    On pay it is clealry disingenuous to imply that a 1% pay cap is acceptable because inflation is 0.1%. Over the last 5 years many civil servants have seen their real take home pay fall, and now face a further cut relative to non- civil servants (as per the IFS, It also means there is no real scope for any progresion to the rate for the job, ie the maximum.
    The message HMRC told its staff (below) has, to date, generated 11 pp of complaints and fears about the impact on their lives. I think this blog entry is equally not in tune with what staff feel.

    "Civil Service pay restraint

    We know the announcement in the Budget about continued pay restraint across the Civil Service, with the overall pay award limited to one per cent for the next four years from 2016-17, will have come as a big disappointment to you. However, the investment in HMRC means that we can continue to offer exciting professional opportunities on work that really matters."

  68. Comment by Judith posted on

    Well put, Bryn. You only have to see the outpourings of despair from the average civil servant (who is on AO/O money at best) at yet another cut in standards. There are thousands of civil servants in desperate straits. It is galling to hear the government call on employers to give their hard-working staff pay rises yet they don't lead by example. Eroding conditions, ever more expensive and deferred pensions, progession pay halted leaving long-experienced staff being paid the same or less than new incomers. It is all stick and no carrot. The independent Hay report showed that most civil servants deserve a large increase to bring them in line with the private sector. That report was conveniently buried. Why are we still being required to pay for the financial mess caused by Lehmann Brothers, Goldman Sachs (other investment banks are available) and the like?

  69. Comment by Betty posted on

    I agree, some part of the Civil Service just don't mesh., I work for PHE in diagnostics, one of the few diagnostic labs in Wiltshire. Some of the staff are on PHE civil service terms and conditions, others are Agenda for Change. This does create a big difference in pay for those doing the same job, increments are paid annually to AFC staff as well the cost of living award and PHE got 0.75%. For some on the same pay band this meant the difference of PHE getting less than two hundred pounds a year and AFC getting up to seven hundred depending on which point in the pathway they were on. Some posts just do not cross over well under PHE. I don't tend to think of a civil servant as being a Biomedical Scientist.

  70. Comment by Isabel A posted on

    Regarding our pay, just to note that, although inflation may be currently 0.1%, during the years that our pay was frozen inflation was between 3-5.5%, and during the last couple of years, when we had a 1% increase, inflation has been consistently above that, so we have been worse off for at least 4-5 years now. The UK needs a pay raise… except for the Civil/Public Service?

  71. Comment by CLAIRE MARTIN posted on


  72. Comment by Big Al posted on

    From the personal perspective of a civil servant, this is what the budget means to me:
    It means further stagnation of my pay progression, with no reward for hard work and experience within my role.

    It means by 2020 I will have been on the minimum pay scale for my grade for TEN YEARS!

    It means whilst my pay stagnates, my pension contributions increase along with my retirement age (but I get less at the end), my cost of living continue to rise and I'm expected to work harder than I already do, taking on more responsibility without reward whilst maintaining a smile on my face.

    It means I have 2 options in order to balance my own books...get promoted or get out (obviously promotion is the preferred route here but its easier said than done).

    I fear the net result is a disillusioned work force, poor staff retention and ultimately the loss of expert knowledge from the civil service.

    So what can the civil service do about this? Here are 2 suggestions:

    1) Remove the divisive performance related bonus schemes and use the money to provide all achieving staff with larger consolidated pay awards. Rather than pay a one-off bonus to a % quota of top performers, add that money to the pot and pay everyone who achieved their objectives a marginally higher pay rise.

    2) Re-introduce pay scale milestones, any member of staff in the same grade for a set number of years should be moved up to a proportion of the pay scale - e.g. 50% up the scale after 4-5 years in grade,

    Straight away you resolve the issue without paying out larger annual pay rises, helping to reduce staff retention issues across the civil service at the same time.

    Civil servants are happy to pay their fair share of the austerity burden, but if 'Britain deserves a pay rise' then why don't we?

  73. Comment by Hacked off posted on

    A budget that 'rewards work' - clearly not in the case of the civil servants who continue to be used as the whipping boys for the private financial sector that almost wrecked this country. Then for MP's to accept an 11% increase in salary!!! Go figure. I for one won't be working any extra time over an above my contracted hours. Bring on redundancies. Another thought on saving money. Rather than the AVERAGE 1% pittance on grade staff, how about reducing the senior civil service pay rate to that of the current salaries of MP's and ministers - now that would be a sign that we really are all in it together.

  74. Comment by Paul Wilson posted on

    Surprising lack of comments on this blog. Either the moderators are busy blocking all comments or the workforce is totally demoralised and feel undervalued.

    Both i suspect

  75. Comment by Darren Laird posted on

    Do not try to justify the 1% pay award for the next 4 years by putting it into context of the current rate of inflation as this is simply insulting peoples intelligence. This will mean that civil servants have suffered more than most for the financial crisis having been subject to pay restraint for 9 years, yes 9! In real terms this will have seen our pay rise by only 5% over a nine year period plus take into account the increased pension contributions and what we have is a huge pay cut so do not try dress it up any other way. On top of all of this thre is no pay progression through the pay ranges and 3 years after having been promoted I am still at the bottom of my pay scale with colleagues doing the same job as me earning almost £5000 a year more where is the fairness and justification in that and there is nothing to suggest that will improve over the next 4 years either. I and I am sure most of my colleagues in the civil service feel under valued, deflated and disgusted at what the government has done so do not try to sugar coat it!

  76. Comment by Richard posted on

    "To put this in context, inflation is currently at 0.1% – below the Government’s 2% target" Yes, but average pay rises are now 2.7%, and tell us this again in the winter when our fuel bills and transport costs will inevitably go up. Effectively, those who are working for you are being PUNISHED yet again for the actions of others, which will make it a total of at least NINE YEARS and you do not even have the nous in your blog to acknowledge the pain that brings to the majority of us. Let's hope the MPs see their pay rises capped at the same level in the next few years, but I won't be holding my breath........

  77. Comment by Phillip Dobbinson posted on

    Do more with less and for less... same old!.

  78. Comment by Jane Sawkins posted on

    Does not the fact that you know that Civil servants have suffered pay cuts in real terms over the past 5 years make any difference to your statements. How can it be justified to give away money for inheritance tax purposes and continue to make civil servants feel like second class citizens at best. When I joined the civil service in 1980 I was proud that I had joined a respected profession, but now I feel like we are treated like something unfortunate that has been stepped in, I would never encourage my children to join any public sector employer if they could avoid it!

  79. Comment by winston smith posted on

    Are MPs in the public sector? How will the money be found for their inevitable massive payrise?
    If Britain deserves a payrise then how com the public sector seem to be entirely non British.
    Are we still 'all in it together'?

  80. Comment by Nick Dean-Webb posted on

    I do not think you can expect staff in HMRC to simply sit back and accept what amounts to 9 years of pay cuts in real terms. To suggest that because "Inflation is currently at 0.1%" somehow justifies this proposed action is simply insulting. You must think we are all idiots. HMRC staff have already endured 0% or 1% pay rises over the last 5 years, during which average UK inflation has been well above 1%. It will, on average, be well above 1% over the next 4 years too. For the Government to announce that "Britain deserves a pay rise" and then announce a further 4 years of real term pay cuts for civil servants is scurrilous and needs to be challenged.

  81. Comment by Paul Harcombe posted on

    'Britain needs a pay rise' I believe was the phrase used. Are we not part of Britain? Another 4 years of 1% maximum. My department has never been more efficient or productive and yet ...

  82. Comment by Anthony posted on


    Why do you not stand up for your workforce.
    A 1% pay rise for the next 4 years is tantamout to a kick in the teeth, and just proves that the Civil Service is not valued by this Government.

  83. Comment by John Jenkins posted on

    "To put this in context inflation is currently running at 0.1%"

    Or, to put this in to put this in context, average inflation over the period 2005 -2014 was 2.7% per year. Attempts to sugar coat bad news have the opposite affect to that intended - I know things are going to get worse over the next 4 years so to pretend it is good news is an insult to my intelligence.

  84. Comment by Darren posted on

    Well I hope the Chancellor enjoys his 10% pay rise. It's strange how these austerity measures don't seem to effect some people who are paid through public money. This is just an insult for people on a low wage already who work very hard to meet ever increasing workloads and more stringent targets.

  85. Comment by Stewart McEwen posted on

    I too can be selective with figures. Since 2010 CPI has been:
    2010 MAY 3.4
    2011 APR 4.5
    2011 MAY 4.5
    2011 AUG 4.5
    2011 OCT 5
    2011 NOV 4.8
    2012 MAY 2.8
    2013 MAY 2.7
    2014 JUN 1.9
    2015 MAY 0.1

    Compare this with the salary freeze, 1% cap and trebling of pension contributions.

    • Replies to Stewart McEwen>

      Comment by Dave C posted on

      Baselining the index at 100 in 2010, the CPI has risen by 16.5% over the period, and our wages have fallen, once NI and pensions have been taken into account.

      Just to put it into context.

      2010 3.4% 103.4
      2011 4.7% 108.2
      2012 2.8% 111.2
      2013 2.7% 114.3
      2014 1.9% 116.4
      2015 0.1% 116.5

  86. Comment by Peter Birchfield posted on

    Like most civil servants who have seen their pay frozen in real term for the last 5 years (a 1% non-consolidated pay award is not a rise in reality it's a bonus payment that dosen't carry thorugh to the next year or any of our pesnions) to have another 5 years of it is disappointing if not unexpected.
    So I'd like to know whether the 1% "rise each year announced in the budget is also non-consolidated as if it is that means in real terms no pay rise from the start of the last parliament to the end of this one.
    In addition I'd like to know how with his crystal ball the chancellor can predict inflation will stay at 0.1% for the next five years and if it rises to say 3% or more what scope there is to review the 1%. I'm getting quite fed up with this government telling everyone that average pay is rising whilst failing to increase the pay of their own employees to ensure everyone else stays better off including awarding themselves a 10% increase.

  87. Comment by Malcolm Eadie posted on

    Whilst this article is helpful I do find the 'spin' regarding the pay award somehwat insulting to our intelligence.

    The spin I refer to is the 'context' given that inflation is currently 0.1% thereby making the 1% cap for 4 years appear almost generous.

    But why is the context purely pointing to the current level? (A level which almost all credible financial bodies recognise as short-term). I doubt there would be the same 'context' given if inflation was say 3%. In fact there is no context given about how inflation has indeed been significantly higher than 0.1% during recent years when the 1% pay award ceiling has been in effect.

    Nor is there any context to state that the 1% applies regardless of whether inflation increases beyond the target rate of 2% over the next four years.

    I actually feel that on balance the remuneration package, and employment terms and conditions, are still good. I also feel proud and privileged to be a civil servant.

    But please don't insult our inteligence by using such spin - taking advantage of a short-term coincidental inflationary low. I expect the majority of civil servants know that this pay award (with the continued absence of pay progression and 1% ceiling) will mean we will be effectively worse off in pay terms in 4 years time. So let's don't dress it up as anything else - it is what it is.

  88. Comment by Anon posted on

    Pay Award? 1% is not an award!

  89. Comment by Tom posted on

    What the Budget means for me, and I'm sure for the majority of civil servants, is more work for less pay. Inflation may currently be 0.1%, but for the majority of the past five years it has been running at between 3% - 5%, and with wage rises in the private sector around 2-3%, it won't be long before it exceeds 1%. So given the real fall in civil servants take home pay over the past five years, compared to the cost of living, the prospect of five more years of 1% pay rises looks like a forecast for a continued pay cut in real terms. So to put this in the staffs context Sir Jeremy, I feel your opinion is slightly skewed.

    • Replies to Tom>

      Comment by Garin Bodmin posted on

      I read last year in a TUC publication that public sector workers contribute around £9bnworth of free overtime each year. Let's withdraw all goodwill, work to rule and don't give the Tory Party for Englandshire, £8bn free each year! As exponents of the free market, they must appreciate that nothing is free? Yeah right, as long as it isn't from civil servants, they may even build into future contracts that civil servants must work xxx hours without remuneration each week, so that the structural deficit is paid off more quickly!!!!!

  90. Comment by Matt posted on

    Can I ask what is the point in making the share via Social Media links available when they're blocked for use? I read these articles at work and on occasion, would like to share some of the content using your share links but they're useless under the current security arrangements. Can they either be removed or have the security settings amended so we can use the Share functionality as designed please?

  91. Comment by Dee posted on

    '.....the Budget has announced that public sector workforces will be funded for a pay award of 1% a year for four years from 2016-17....' '....this means that departmental budgets will be set to allow pay for civil servants to rise by an average 1% each year, in cash terms. To put this in context, inflation is currently at 0.1% – below the Government’s 2% target.'

    The first issue with the aforementioned extract is we are told there will be an award of a 1% pay award, yet the rise is described as an average of 1%, which means many people will receive LESS than 1% - I don't geddit!

    Secondly whilst the current inflation rate may well be 0.1% this statement takes no cognisance of civilservants having endured 'pay cuts' for the last 5 years (minimum) thanks to rising pensions costs, utility bills etc.

    So if we are not all seen to be whooping and cheering at this news, you'll understand why!

  92. Comment by Chris Taylor posted on

    Sir Jeremy,
    George Osbourne is allowing pay for civil servants to rise by an average 1% each year, in cash terms. With all due respect, this is disgraceful and, for you to try and spin this into a positive by referring to current inflation rates is frankly insulting.
    This further 4 years at 1% comes on the back of a 2 year pay freeze and, personally, a further year of nothing, then 2 years at 1%. To put matters into context, my pay has increased by 7.8% since 2005, that's 10 years! To be honest, I am sure that this is the case with many Civil Servants, it could even be worse but, the fact is that in the last 10 years, the disposable income of your Civil Servants has fallen and fallen and will now carry doing so.
    What motivation does this provide for staff who, on a daily basis, are being asked to meet more and more difficult challenges due to increased workloads, staff numbers falling and failure to recruit? Why can we not recruit? In part, it is due to the poor salaries offered, which are not likely to become any more attractive under this Government.
    We as Public Servants, are currently unable to provide the level of the service to the public that we would wish to provide. In all honesty, this is due to one man now being asked to do the work which was previously done by 3 men, and his efforts are rewarded with another 1%!
    Your Civil Servants have been forced to carry the can for the problems caused in the City, in 2008, and we are still being made to pay for this. It is clearly unfair.
    What adds fuel to the fire is that MP's are expected to receive 10% this year and Senior Civil Servants have/will not been subject to the same pay restraint as general staff. How fair is that?
    We all know that, as a country, we need to balance the books and, that there are many measures we could take to improve Public Services but this continued austerity on our pay is not done because it is necessary, it is done because the Government can.
    The Government regularly claims that Public Servants do a valuable job for the country. With this in mind, could you please explain why we find the Government treating Public Servants so poorly?

  93. Comment by Paul Farr posted on

    "To put this in context, inflation is currently at 0.1% – below the Government’s 2% target."

    To put this piece of spin in context, inflation has been far higher than 1% for the duration of the 1% pay cap to date and is almost certain to rise above 1% over the course of the next 4 years. So our wages are almost certain to keep falling in real terms. It will also continue to fall in relation to the private sector.

  94. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    RPI Inflation, which is a more realistic measure as it includes housing costs is 1%.

    Therefore we're getting a pay freeze in real terms and if it increases further, which is likely, a pay cut in real terms.

  95. Comment by Paul Deeks posted on

    Is this pay rise 1% per annum and will it be consolidated into our annual salary? It's about time our pension pots got an increase

    • Replies to Paul Deeks>

      Comment by Dave S posted on

      As i am retiring next year (being 60) - 3 yrs of non consoldated pay has really hit my pension pot - I hope that the proposed 1% rise is consolidated and helps towards the pensions of other people as well as myself - Sir Jeremy please can we have clarification on this as soon as possible or is this another goverment long term get rich scheme to reduce pensions for those who do retire at the end of long service!!.

  96. Comment by Andy posted on

    What happens in 2 years time when inflation is over 3%, a locked in wage rise of 0.5% as that is what people at the top of the pay scale will receive is hardly a reward for work. This budget was a kick in the teeth for the vast majority of workers and a hammer blow for the poor both working and non working. A budget for the well off, please do not dress it up as anything else.

  97. Comment by M Carroll posted on

    Rewarding work unless that work happens to take place in the public sector; still being punished for having the temerity to work in a non-profit making business despite finding £14.3 billion in savings already. Other than that the same bland homilies, leaner, doing more with less, new ways of working - blah blah blah. . Really, thanks for nothing.

  98. Comment by Andrew posted on

    At the risk of sounding cynical..........MPs should be taking the lead in implementing efficiency savings in government and the public sector. They should not be allowed to receive the forthcoming, very generous, pay rise. Basically, they are civil servants. Why, therefore, are they not subject to the pay rise of just 1%??

    • Replies to Andrew>

      Comment by Mark posted on

      totally agree, why do the MP's get away with payrises so much higher than the rest of the country?? It is scandalous, expecially in the light of the expenses debarkle!!! Of course they will vote to increase their own salary!!!

    • Replies to Andrew>

      Comment by iain posted on

      And further updates on the impacts on Departmental expenditure. Are these really achievable without staff reductions, even on a 1% pay cap?
      "New IPPR analysis has shown that this could imply a real terms cut in resource spending for unprotected departments (excluding Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) of around 30 per cent by 2019/20, a cut of approximately 7.5 per cent on average in each of the next four years.
      This compares to a total real terms fall of around 35 per cent for the same departments across the five years of the previous parliament (2011/12 to 2015/16), around 7 per cent a year on average.
      By way of an indication of what this may mean for individual departments over the coming years, our analysis suggest we could see around £5 billion taken out of the Department for Education, around £4 billion from Business Innovation and Skills and around £3 billion from Local Government by 2019/20.

    • Replies to Andrew>

      Comment by Deb posted on

      I have to agree with Andrew on this one, it is all well and good to give us a pat on the back and get 'more for less ' but this does not pay our bills. The 1% will not cover the obvious rise of houshold bills, insurances,food, and the obvios cost of living. In effect we are actually going to suffer more. I myself do not smoke have the occasional drink ( in the house with friends ) as going out is a luxury i can't actually afford. Working in the public sector makes everyone assume you are paid a fortune when in fact some of us are barely above the minimum wage. Very disappointed in the budget this year yet again. MP's should also be subject to the 1% and show that they are in this together as they like to state.

  99. Comment by Dave C posted on

    "Secondly, in order to contribute to savings in departmental spending, the Budget has announced that public sector workforces will be funded for a pay award of 1% a year for four years from 2016-17, which will be applied in a targeted manner within workforces, to support the delivery of public services. In practical terms, this means that departmental budgets will be set to allow pay for civil servants to rise by an average 1% each year, in cash terms. To put this in context, inflation is currently at 0.1% – below the Government’s 2% target."

    Odd, that's not a context that was used when we were on a pay freeze and inflation was running well over 2%.
    I suppose what you're saying is; we've got an above inflation pay deal, and we've never had it so good?

  100. Comment by john lally posted on

    with the new budget stating that civil servants will receive 1% for the next 4 years a large number of ao grade staff who are on bel £18800 will in 4 years time still be below £9 per hour as £18800 will increase to £19563 per annum which equates to £19563/42/52= £8.96 per hour

  101. Comment by Bryn Gudger posted on

    It strikes me that Jeremy has been talking to a strange and select group of civil servants or possibly he is only being told what he wants to hear due to the seniority of his position. What comes across when speaking to the average civil servant is not an overwhelming desire for a civil service that is "more diverse and inclusive, rewards excellence wherever it’s found, and challenges itself to deliver better services that have a positive impact on people’s lives." Whilst the priority of most Civil servants at work is to provide an excellent service, the most pressing issue is the continued erosion of our pay and conditions. Working harder and being adaptable to change seems to be rewarded by being told "Well Done! Now we must achieve more with less resources". If the Civil service is to adopt working practices that are more in line with the private sector then it should also adopt the incentives that are common practice in the private sector.

    • Replies to Bryn Gudger>

      Comment by Sheila Maddock posted on

      Well put Bryn - myself and many colleagues agree with your comments wholeheartedly.

    • Replies to Bryn Gudger>

      Comment by Richard Crabtree posted on

      I think it is hard for any civil servant to disagree with the thrust of Bryn's comments. Another five years of real terms pay cuts (the RPI is already back to 1%) on top of the 15% or so already seen in the last five years will make it almost impossible to attract /retain in the service "the best people", as Jeremy rightly aspires to, given the simple fact that our pay and conditions will not be competitive. Whilst other aspects of the conditions package where we have tended to score well relative to our competitors, such as ease of access to flexible working, are things the private sector is rapidly catching us up on. Certainly at HMT/HMRC it is striking the number of experienced and talented individuals that have left for better paid jobs in the private sector, most of them reluctantly but faced with rising bills and falling wages feeling they had no other option. Further real pay cuts can only accelerate this process. I think Jeremy and others will have a heck of a job on their hands responding to this challenge within the announced parameters for public sector pay policy.

      • Replies to Richard Crabtree>

        Comment by Garin Bodmin posted on

        Much more needs to be made in the media of the impact of low civil service salaries on retention and recruitment problems in the civil service. I know from experience that internal vacancies in my employer are filled by dropping entry standards, such as removing qualifications and experience, that previously was an application requirement. Much more needs to be made of the fact that many civil servants do not see a 1% rise, in fact many see less. Last year I saw just 0.6% and for the fifth year in a row, no progression. Much more needs to be made of the effects of axing progression pay. Overall, I expect recruitment and retention in the civil service to become ever more apparent in the next 5 years. The only solution is to take our skills and services elsewhere and let the civil service sink.

  102. Comment by Stuarto posted on

    1% isn't my idea of a fair pay rise after years of pay freezes and increased pension contributions have left those of us well down the ladder struggling to make ends meet. Pity your glowing report of how hard we work and how much we contribute to society cannot be exchanged for goods at the supermarket. Civil Servants were NOT responsible for the financial crisis so why should we as individuals be made to pay more than others? Not good enough Sir Jeremy.

  103. Comment by Tony posted on

    What it means is that after another 4 years of pay freezes I will be an AO on 14p above the minimum wage. Is this what a good modern employer would do?

  104. Comment by Poor and miserable posted on

    "You should all be hugely proud of what you’ve achieved over the last five years. By working smarter and rooting out waste, you helped make efficiency savings of £14.3 billion in 2013-14 alone."

    Thank you. I'm so glad my sacrifice of absolutely no pay rise whatsoever for the last 5 years (and no, not even getting the pathetic 1% as I am on the maxima of my band which has been capped) has helped.

    I now not only look forward to 'not' getting future 1% pay rises for the next 4 years, but I am doubly excited about suddenly being downgraded to minimum wage once they raise this to £7.20, cos that's more or less what I am on now.

    At least by 2020 HMCTS will finally be forced to give me a payrise to a whopping £9.

    • Replies to Poor and miserable>

      Comment by Beverley Fink posted on

      I am only half way up my spine point even though I have served over 20 years. The spine points have now been removed. How are we expected to live when all the bills are shooting up? We are at risk of losing our homes.

  105. Comment by Dawn Grimwood posted on

    Sir Jeremy, when you refer to what this budget means for the civil service, are you including for example our military colleagues? I ask as there are probably many employees in the public sector who may not feel that they fit under the umbrella term of 'civil service' in its broadest sense, yet I feel this blog is as relevant to them as to a 'desk jockey' such as myself. And yes, I work in MOD.

    I would like to add that this blog zone is really interesting, so 'thank you' to all the contributers.

    • Replies to Dawn Grimwood>

      Comment by Ray Stephenson posted on

      An example of how Civil Servants are treated, even those who are well paid. Crown Commercial Services are currently advertising for staff at SCS1 payband. If you are an existing SCS 1, you would be appointed on your current salary. If you were a payband 6 or 7 and happened to get promoted to the post, you would be awarded the normal 10% increase. However, if you come from the private sector, with the appropriate skills and experience, your pay will be £110,000.

      You can't do enough for a good employer!!!!!

    • Replies to Dawn Grimwood>

      Comment by Mick Hodkinson posted on

      I would also like to point out that not only have we suffered a 2% rise over the last 5 years, there has also been no opportunity for MOD Civil Servants to advance on the pay tier structure. I doubt I will ever reach the pinnacle of the payband structure for my rank which has an adverse affect on my Pension. This is dispite other Public Sectors such as Nurses, Police, Teachers and Local Government still receiving their tier rises or 1%. Why advertise posts with paybands ?