Public pay falls below private


Embargoed to 0001 Thursday December 12File photo dated 18/03/13 of money as the UK downturn is finally expected to be left behind next year as the size of the economy surpasses its pre-recession peak, according to a new forecast upgrading prospects for growth. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday December 12, 2013. The prediction from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) brings forward the likely date to the third quarter of 2014. It would mark the first time that UK gross domestic product (GDP) has climbed back to the peak it reached in the first quarter of 2008. See PA story ECONOMY GDP. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

The pay of public sector workers has fallen below that of employees in private firms after years of wage restraint because of Government policies, official figures have shown.

On average, pay in the public sector was between 1.3% and 2.4% lower in April 2013 following years of wages being held down.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the biggest pay difference in favour of public sector workers was in Northern Ireland, compared with London where staff in private firms earned more.

Public sector workers on low pay earned more than low-paid employees in private firms, but the position was reversed when comparing high earners.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Years of freezes, real-terms pay cuts and rounds of redundancies have left public servants facing a sharp squeeze in their living standards.

"Not only do public sector workers now earn less than equivalent staff in the private sector, they also face greater job insecurity as hundreds of thousands are set to go in the coming years.

"Top earners in the private sector enjoy a huge wage premium over the public sector but the lowest paid private sector workers do even worse than their public sector counterparts. If private businesses paid their lowest paid staff more fairly we'd make huge inroads into reducing in-work poverty."

10 best-paid jobs

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