Thank you for contacting me about public sector pay. I believe a pay rise for all public sector workers, both in Halton and across the country, is fair and affordable.
The large number of letters and emails I have received on this issue highlights the strength of public concern. Indeed, an online petition launched by UNISON calling on the Government to end the pay cap has been signed by more than 145,000 people. Parliament will debate this petition on 4 December 2017.
The Government has said the pay cap has ended, yet the Chancellor made no reference to public sector pay in his Autumn Budget and there was no new money announced to give public sector workers the pay increase they deserve.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that if the pay cap stays in place, the public sector will "struggle to recruit and retain the workers it needs to deliver public services, and the quality of those services will therefore be at risk".
I will attend the Westminster Hall debate on public sector pay on 4 December.
At the General Election I stood on a manifesto that pledged to end the pay cap in the public sector and make a return to pay being agreed through collective bargaining and the evidence of independent pay review bodies. I also supported an Opposition amendment in the House of Commons which called on the Government to give public sector workers a fair pay rise. Unfortunately, the Government voted against the amendment and it was defeated.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue. I will continue to press the Government to lift the pay cap so that public sector workers are paid at a level which recognises the skill and dedication which they bring to their jobs.
Derek Twigg MP