Public sector workers in Hackney are nearly £3,000 worse off this year thanks to government pay caps, according to data out today.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysis finds Hackney’s 15,886 public sector workers earned on average £2,981 less in 2016/17 than if their pay had risen in line with inflation – a total loss of more than £47 million.
The full cost in disposable income to Hackney’s public sector workers since the pay caps began in 2010 was more than £296 million.
Mayor Philip Glanville, responding to the numbers, told the Citizen the “unfair” pay cap “takes money out of the pockets of hard working nurses, teachers and social workers”, adding: ‘If they lose out, we all lose out”.
The TUC finds Hackney North and Stoke Newington’s 3,766 public sector workers earned £11,226,045 less in real terms in 2016/17 than they would have without the public sector pay caps.
For Hackney South and Shoreditch’s 12,120 public sector workers the figure was £36,123,632. This means the borough’s 15,886 workers lost a total of £47,349,677.
The TUC also estimates a total loss of £70,195,575 in disposable income between 2010 and 2017 for public sector workers in Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and £225,878,235 for Hackney South and Shoreditch – a total of £296,073,810.
It comes amid what the TUC calls a £1.9 billion blow to London’s spending power thanks to the cap, which it said leaves one in seven (15 per cent) of public sector workers skipping meals to save money, and one in four (24 per cent) unable to pay a surprise bill of £500.
“The public sector pay squeeze has hit communities across London hard”, said Megan Dobney, TUC Regional Secretary for London. “And that means less money spent on our high streets and in local businesses.
“The pay cap is a false economy. The chancellor [Philip Hammond] must use the budget to give all public sector workers the pay rise they have earned, and end these artificial pay restrictions.”
Mayor Glanville, speaking to the Citizen, said: “We have been campaigning against the unfair public sector pay cap which takes money out of the pockets of hard working nurses, teachers and social workers, most recently by writing a letter to the chancellor.
“We have done what we can as a council by ensuring that we pay the London Living Wage as an absolute minimum, but every year the proportion of council staff who live in the borough goes down as people struggle to afford the spiralling costs of living in London.”
He added: “Public sector workers aren’t a burden on this country – they are a bedrock of our society and the economy. 16,000 Hackney residents work in the public sector, paying taxes and supporting businesses by buying goods and services. If they lose out, we all lose out.”