Your view: public sector pay rises?

Challenge Question.jpg

On 25th November Rishi Sunak, the chancellor (who is in charge of Britain's money) announced a spending review. The review sets out what the government is going to do with its money.

What did Sunak say?

Sunak said that covid-19 health emergency is not over and the economic emergency has just begun, which is why we need to think about how the government will spend its money. He said he was going to make jobs, business and public services (schools, hospital, police etc.) his top priorities. You can read all of the key points in this article.

A controversial point around pay

Most years, salaries (the amount people get paid) increase by a small amount. This might be because a business is earning more money so can afford to pay people more or because they want to reward people for their hard work. However, in the spending review, Sunak said that pay rises for people who work in the public sector will be paused next year. Public sector workers include anyone who is paid by the government, like teachers, NHS staff, police officers, fire fighters, local government workers and lots more.

He said that salaries would be frozen (stay the same) UNLESS:

  • you are medical staff working in the NHS - so doctors and nurses would get the rise but a receptionist or cleaning manager wouldn't
  • you earn below £24,000 which is the median salary - in this case you will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250

This means that lots of public sector worker will miss out but Sunak said it would be wrong to give pay rises because it would make it unfair with the private sector (businesses that are not owned by the government). He said that lots of private businesses won't be able to increase pay this year due to the damage covid-19 has done.

Some people argue...

"It's unfair! We clapped for keyworkers each week during lockdown... they deserve a pay rise to reflect their work!"

Other people argue...

"It's fair! Everyone will feel the effect of covid-19 on their income so there should be no special treatment...we're all in this together."

What do you think?

Is the government right to put a pay freeze on most public sector workers? Vote in the poll and then comment below with your reasons to explain your opinion - don't forget to include examples!

Comments (28)

  • Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg inspired_piano | Faringdon Community College
    25 Nov 2020

    I agree with what they have done. This is because it means the economy can grow for private businesses and NHS staff will still get the pay rise. People who don't get as much money as others will still get the pay rise so that is good. I think the Government have done the right thing.

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
    25 Nov 2020

    This is so not right everyone deserves there money to be paid fairly

    Reply to this comment
  • Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg careful_science | Faringdon Community College
    25 Nov 2020

    This is my view, hope you consider.

    This decision for me is a hard one, as I agree with both points (although I do agree with the 'it's unfair' point more than the 'it's fair point) and in this comment I will explain my view on both points and then say my final decision view at the end. I am going to start with the 'it's fair' point as it is the one I least agree with. People would support this view because -as it said in at the top of Olivia's post- we are all in this together and we are all facing the pandemic as a whole, but I would argue that although we are all in this together, some people -the key workers- are at the front line and are the people who are holding this country together, if you work in the public sector as a civil servant or MP you are working, but you are not at the front line like a nurse in the NHS or a shop cashier. This means that the more important key jobs (important in this current cover-19 pandemic, not overall) would get a pay rise to thank them for there duty, but this argument is that everyone should get payed the same, even though they may not be working in the front line. I am now going to go onto the 'it's unfair' argument. As you know, this is the argument that I agree with the most as I think that because they are key workers who have been keeping this country going and moving throughout this pandemic, they should be able to keep there pay-rise and the less important public sector jobs eg: Local civil servant or MP (important in this pandemic not over all) should not have there small yearly pay rise just for this year because of the cover pandemic stretching the governments money. If Sunak then kept the pay rise for him and his MPs then I would call it a sort of scandal (a bit like the MP claims form scandal).

    Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed.

    -careful_science.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      careful_science's comment 26 Nov 2020

      Great problem-solving shown here by trying to weigh up both sides of the argument with an open mind. Well done!

      Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
    26 Nov 2020

    Everyone should be paid different amount of money depending on there job

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
    26 Nov 2020

    Could you explain in a simpler way what public sector means pls

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      decisive_redcurrant's comment 26 Nov 2020

      I went to a Burnet News Club session today online, and one student described public sector jobs as "jobs that help other people" - so things like teachers, nurses, police officers. It's any job where the government pays your salary.

      Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg consistent_starfruit | Michael Faraday School
    26 Nov 2020

    Everyone deserves equal pay so by freezing sector pay you are adding to the burden of joblessness and adding to the harsh conditions of the economy. Another point is that some people get barely enough income that they can't feed their mouths. From this evidence I have decided that instead of freezing sector pay we should pay more to those jobs that are in need. Do you agree?

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg hardworking_introduction | Michael Faraday School
    26 Nov 2020

    I think it's disgraceful that Rishi Sunak isn't giving key workers and medical staff they raise they DESERVE! The hospitals have been busier than ever, so working as a receptionist must be very stressful and hard at this time. Cleaners must also be working harder and more thoroughly because of the CoronaVirus. Some business's, like Amazon and other online shops, have earn't more than ever this year so can completely afford to raise pay for staff. I think that the government should use their money more wisely, giving it to the people and key workers that deserve it, and should spend less on each other or unnecessary products and campaigns.
    Thank you,
    hardworking_introduction

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      hardworking_introduction's comment 26 Nov 2020

      Great reasoning shown here, an important part of the speaking skill - well done! Remember that there are exceptions to this, so medical staff WILL get the pay rise (so doctors and nurses and physios and surgeons etc.) but other people who work in the hospital or doctor's surgeries won't - UNLESS they earn less than £24,000 each year.

      Reply to this comment
  • wise_rainforest | Whyteleafe School D
    26 Nov 2020

    This is absolutely the wrong thing to do ( I say ). People like firefighters and policeman ( or police people as l like to call it) risk their lives for others pretty much ever day! If we didn’t have these people ( including the government) the world would be in chaos!

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg consistent_starfruit | Michael Faraday School
    26 Nov 2020

    I feel that the fact that Rishi Sunak wants to freeze sector pay is quite disrespectful. I am thinking this because when we were in dire straits the jobs like teachers and train drivers got us out of that situation and for that they surely deserve to have a pay rise. Sure they got a round of applause but that action didn't help because they were still working there absolute hardest to get us out of this pandemic but what do they get, nothing. The least you can do for them is add to their salary not freeze and possibly decrease it. The last thing I want to say is this pandemic has shown why we should be grateful for the jobs we have and should always cheer them on because although it may be a small job it might have a big effect on how we live.

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg consistent_starfruit | Michael Faraday School
    26 Nov 2020

    You are right when you said that the government should be wise with the money but I think that freezing the salary of key workers is not the solution. instead, if the government try to think outside the box and come up with other ways to support those private businesses like decreasing their tax and giving them loans whenever the need it would be the wise thing to do now

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg comfortable_chemistry | Michael Faraday School
    26 Nov 2020

    I don't agree with Rishi Sunak's decision to freeze sector pay because workers such as receptionists and cleaners are vital in ensuring hospitals are kept in order. Receptionists are important because they have to take in phone calls and arrange appointments for those who need to seek medical attention. Cleaners also take on an important role to help decrease the amount of coronavirus cases by helping to clean any areas that are contaminated by the virus. This proves that Rishi Sunak's decision to freeze sector pay is inconsiderate because all of these jobs are equally important. As they're saving other's lives, they're sacrificing their own safety and health by doing so. While other people have the considered privilege of working from home, most workers in the public sector still have to attend to their duties physically, being potentially being exposed to the virus. This might make workers in that sector feel unmotivated and unappreciated because they aren't getting the pay raise they deserve, which should be higher.

    comfortable_chemistry

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_dove | Michael Faraday School
    27 Nov 2020

    I think it is outrageous that Rishi Sunak wants to freeze the pay to key workers. They have been working so hard to keep us safe during this whole pandemic. He shouldn't even think to freeze the salary to medical staff like cleaners and receptionists as they are the ones who have been helping to take care of people in the hospitals and play an even role like others. Other careers like police and ambulances are completely forgotten as if they have done nothing to help us out. I think Rishi Sunak should think of other solutions rather than freezing salaries.

    Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg consistent_starfruit | Michael Faraday School
    27 Nov 2020

    Another point Rishi Sunak talked about is cutting overseas aid.I think that instead of freezing salaries of key workers we need to reduce those aids or stop them at all for awhile especially in this difficult time as our economy is suffering . maybe when we get out of the crisis we can again give more money to countries overseas. I think that this is a good decision. As it is said charity starts at home. What I mean is that we have many people in our country who are struggling to make ends meet, who are homeless, jobless and who desperately need our help. So the money in my opinion should go to the needy and also should go to increase the salaries of our key workers who really deserve a pay rise for all their hard work and sacrifices.

    Reply to this comment
  • warm_planet | Whyteleafe School C
    30 Nov 2020

    I disagree with this because the British common wealth need some of our foreign aid money the help people who desperately need this money to fund their bills and support their children's education.

    Reply to this comment
  • tolerant_trumpet | Whyteleafe School C
    30 Nov 2020

    I don't think a public sector freeze is a good move because this could mean a freeze in people's income and for some people this could be really worrying.
    Peoples lives depend on the income they produce from their work.If we freeze their pay they could lose their homes and not afford to pay for their children's education.I believe that ALL public sector workers should receive full pay for their work.I'm proud to have such a strong public sector and believe that public sector workers should be classed as essential workers.
    Many thanks
    tolerant_trumpet

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      tolerant_trumpet's comment 30 Nov 2020

      Why do you think the government have done this, if some people think it's a bad idea?

      Reply to this comment
  • funny_coconut | Whyteleafe School C
    30 Nov 2020

    I'm not sure about this because the key workers deserve to get paid more because they are saving lives but at the same time, everyone is in this together and everyone should be trying their best. Also, because people may not have as much money this year because of covid 19. I do think that people should be paid more every year though but im not too sure.

    Reply to this comment
  • charming_nature | Whyteleafe School C
    30 Nov 2020

    In this situation, it's quite hard to take sides, although my opinion, after a long decision, is that that ALL key workers should definitely earn that extra salary they deserve. The hard work they have put into their jobs has made small and positive effects to Covid. If they have worked harder than ever treating patients, key workers should earn a little more money to buy supplies they need for themselves and even their own work, providing their bosses so they can purchase the equipment they need for Coronavirus.
    So, I'm literally saying that I'd argue that this is unfair, and Mr Sunak should key all key workers and rise their salaries.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      charming_nature's comment 30 Nov 2020

      Very good reasoning!

      Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School unparalleled_tambourine | Lyons Hall Primary School C
    08 Dec 2020

    I think it is a discrace that they are not giving the key workers the pay rise they deserve especially through this pandemic. I think that the nurses and the doctors should definitely get the most pay rise as they are working really hard to save people’s life. I know without all of the key workers the country would not work.

    For example if we did not have the people that empty your bins. You may not think this job is important but imagine if they didn’t come. Your bins would be overflowing and it would stink. They may not enjoy the job but they crack on and do it to make the country a better place to live.
    In conclusion to this I think that key workers are doing a good job and should get a pay rise

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      unparalleled_tambourine's comment 08 Dec 2020

      Well explained, unparalleled_tambourine! Who might disagree with you and why?

      Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School unparalleled_tambourine | Lyons Hall Primary School C
    08 Dec 2020

    People who think that the government doesn’t have enough money to give a pay rise

    Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School unparalleled_tambourine | Lyons Hall Primary School C
    08 Dec 2020

    Because they think that the government should not give money to them all and should save it all for the econamy

    Reply to this comment
  • Pinner logo victorious_outcome | Pinner High School
    09 Dec 2020

    I think that it is quite fair, as they are the people who need it the most and deserve it the most. However, I also think that it should be for everyone as we have all been affected, whether it is big or small.

    Reply to this comment

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