Public sector pay. Here’s a stat you don’t read every day! November 28, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Along with the weekend political poll, noted here, the SBP and RedC polled some opinions on other issues of the moment. Under this headline:
Poll shock: voters back public sector pay hikes over tax cuts
And what were the details of this shocking news?
Almost two in three voters are willing o accept smaller tax cuts to fund the cost of the full public pay restoration.
The results of the latest SBP/Red C poll also who that almost half of all voters are willing to put up with a reduced spend on public services and infrastructure to fund higher public sector wages.
The results will cause alarm in the government which ashy even trying to hold the line against demand from public sector unions for faster pay restoration. They come as the government is preparing to enter discussions with eh ICTU on a new public sector pay deal.
And the report notes that 62% of voters support full public pay restoration. 48% support rises ‘even if it meant lower spending on infrastructure’ and 47% ‘supported pay rises even if it meant a lower spend on public services’.
It is a sign that the support for public sector pay restoration is much deeper than has previously been thought. And it cuts across costal class. Around 67% of ABC1 voters and 58% of lower income C2D2 voters are willing to take adduced USC cut to fund higher public pay’.
So, what to make of it… for what it’s worth I think it points to a couple of basic facts. Such a meal was made by the right and the orthodoxy about public sector pay in the last decade that when pay cuts were imposed and conditions altered for the worse that was… well, public. But, conversely, a certain sense of fair play also appears to be at work – that having taken the hit (and restoration not being restitution of lost wages) now it is time to revisit this. And then, and this is something I think that the media and orthodoxy have ignored at their peril, most people, across those social classes (by the way, can I inject yet again my continual dislike of ABC1 categories as offering a serious analytical tool for understanding the attitudes amongst social classes, they are advertising categories and hardly fit for purpose) know PS workers. They’re brothers, daughters, mothers, sons, cousins and so on. And it’s not just the PS but the broader sectors where there is some form of state funding. There’s a basic realisation that people need reasonable wages – often those wages are the only guaranteed income coming into workers homes.
Perhaps the orthodoxy should tread a little more carefully when deploying the rhetoric it so often does about the PS. Someone’s not buying it. Much of the public clearly isn’t.