As you may know, the government are looking at increasing public sector pay by asking pay review bodies to take into account recruitment and morale among each sector. As police and prison officers pay review was coming up they have already been announced.
As other reviews are conducted during the next few months, they will take into account the additional criteria such as the ones mentioned above. It is important to remember why both the Coalition and Conservative governments have maintained this cap because the public sector pay bill makes up over half of departmental resource spending, and continued pay restraint remains central to deficit reduction strategy to get us back on a financial even keel from the disastrous deficit we inherited in 2010. Whilst we have cut that deficit by 75% we still have a deficit of 2.6% which is running at £52bn a year or £1 billion every week.
This is not sustainable and will saddle future generations with debt that will need to be paid in high taxes or spending cuts. We have taken tough decisions in the national interest over the last few years and we are close to achieving a budget surplus and paying down our debt, we cannot allow political expediency to get in the way of that. To put the size of debt in context, we now spend more on interest servicing that debt then we do on defence.
The Chancellor will therefore have my support to come forward with properly costed and sustainable measures to increase public sector pay in the Autumn Budget.