My election notes. E-Day + 21

by Pseud O'Nym


Well this is a turnup, both in terms of me continuing to post about the election that was THREE weeks ago now and Teresa Mays u turn on public sector pay. As the Guardian had it early yesterday afternoon,

No 10 has given its strongest hint yet that the public sector pay cap could be reviewed at the next budget, saying the government had heard the message from the electorate at the last general election.

Although later in the afternoon it reported that the government was doing a u turn on its u turn

No 10 backtracks on public sector pay and now says ‘policy has not changed’

The afternoon Downing Street lobby briefing has now finished. And, having signalled earlier that the public sector pay cap might be lifted, Number 10 is now insisting that the policy has not changed.

Sometimes reporters do read too much into a briefing, where the language might be open to interpretation, but colleagues who were at both briefings insist that that was not the case this time. Number 10 really has stepped back from what they were saying at lunchtime, they say.

The election result proved conclusively that the public have lost their appetite for austerity – not that they had any choice – and wanted a change.

And change is what we got! Before the election we had one right wing party clinging to power and after it we got the same right wing party clinging even more desperately to power thanks to the support of an even more right wing party. Is it just me or does it seem highly ironic that a political party that is, as Frankie Boyle has it, ‘the political wing of the Old Testament’ is anywhere near the levers of government.

As I noted a few days ago, the government can afford the £1 billion bribe to the D.U.P to keep them in power, but not a pay rise to public sector workers. How does that work?

Although some public sector workers have endured a 1% pay rise, because inflation is rising as well as the cost of living,  in real terms it’s a pay cut, some other public sector workers have fared slightly better. Actually much better. As the Daily Telegraph reported in February,

MPs will be given a £1,049 pay rise from April which will see their salaries rise to £76,011 while public sector workers face a continued cap.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has announced that MPs pay will rise by 1.4 per cent, their second hike since the General Election.

Ipsa said: “This is in line with our determination on MPs’ pay, published in July 2015, where we committed to adjusting MPs’ pay for the rest of this Parliament at the same rate as changes in public sector earnings published by the Office of National Statistics .”

In 2015 IPSA made the decision to increase MPs’ salaries by 10 per cent last year from £67,000 to £74,000.

Politics is all about choices. What becomes a choice in the first place is by definition a choice;  some options aren’t even worth considering in the first place in order to become choices.