Every year you don't have an inflation matching raise means you need an above inflation raise to bring you back in line so they are essentially the same thing over the long term. Matching standard inflation for public sector wages is meaningless if you only do it every now and again. It has to be every year as a minimum otherwise you are supporting paycuts. Salary for my role is 17% higher than it was 10 years ago. Inflation is 35% higher. I would need an 18% increase this year to get back to level and that doesn't include all of the money I have lost over those 10 years from not having inflation matching raises. That's on top of the changes they have made to the payscales and pensions in that time which have taken more money off us.I was on about above inflation pay rises, not inflation matching pay rises from 2010 to 2019. I'm 100% for making up those public sector wages to match standard inflation, along with everyone else who didn't get that either in the private sector (especially those worse off). The only thing I'm concerned with is if Labour could afford to do that (I'm not saying they can't, but I'd like to see how they could), as they would be budgeting for Tory budget issues. They might have a 15 year Tory debt/ problem to make up, which is probably not possible in one term. It might be looking too far ahead but trying to do something too quickly could just lead to a loss in 2030 or whatever, and we end up with another 10-15 years of the Tories. 5 years of gain for 15 of pain isn't a great long term deal.
We had over 10 years with Labour (under Blair, who most of the anti Starmer lot also seemed to hate) on the early part of the graph below, where wages were averaging 2% above inflation. I'd like to go back to that, and we had decent growth then too.
The problem is a recession comes at a price, and is always going to recoup some of those previous gains (see 2010-2015 below), and a recession will always come at a cost to the public sector and private sector, just like a period of boom should benefit both.
Voting in the Tories will always come at a price, sometimes one which is unrecoverable short term. The Tories don't give out enough to the worse off in times of growth (especially to the public sector), and just don't give enough (to the worse off) in the bad times either.
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I think 99% of us are hoping inflation drops, it's the number one problem for the UK at the minute, and as much as I hate to say it, the Tories and Labour need to get on the same page with how best to tackle that
I just think we need to be realistic, we need to realise there was a cost for the 2010 recession (which wasn't fully paid), a cost for Brexit, a cost for Covid, a cost for this war/ energy war/ inflation and a cost for having the Tories in for 15 years. We're not going to get out of that scot free, not by a long shot.
I just don't see how anyone could recover that in one term, and everyone's going to pay a price for that. With the Tories, the worse off will foot most of that cost, under Labour (with anyone in charge) it would be far more balanced.
Even under Labour wages would not have matched inflation (across the board) from 2010-2015, but it could be seen as just to be off-setting that against 2000-2010 gains. I think Labour could have largely made that up that loss though, in 2015-2019, had they been in power. I don't think anyone can match the current 10% inflation, and that's going to take years to claw back.
Inflation is normally around 2%, so I suppose the long term answer is to aim for 2% above that, to pay for previous losses. But there needs to be a limit or the yearly/ 5 year budget won't work, or you end up losing power. So like now, where we have 10% v 3% or whatever it is, that's another 7% to claw back, an top of the 10% or so the public sector lost. That 17% could take 8 years to claw back, if wages were at like 4% growth and inflation 2%.
Your graph is the economy as a whole which is driven by market forces. Public sector pay is very different because politicians make the decision. Labour complain every year when the Tories don't match inflation but they have made no noise about restoration if they get power. At best they will match inflation in the future but I will never get the 18% I've already lost.
Your comments about there being a cost is as Tory as it gets. Why does the cost always have to be paid by the public sector? Surely you can recognise that it is grossly unfair to always expect public sector wages to be on a permanent decline. We're not asking for inflation matching this year because we're hard done by this once. It has been the same every year for over a decade. We've had years where inflation barely went past 1% and they still couldn't give us the full amount. Even if Labour don't offer us all those lost years back the minimum they should be doing is making the case for linking public sector wages to inflation so we will automatically not be shafted every year.