Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”Over the last ten years, or twelve years, public sector wages have kept up with inflation”

Chris Philip, DCMS Junior Minister, Good Morning Britain

Facts

Chris Philip, then a junior minister in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, claimed that public sector wages had kept up with inflation over the last decade. 

Public sector wages, in real terms, have dropped 4.4% since 2010, compared to a rise of 4.3% since 2010 in the private sector. This means that public sector wages have not kept up with inflation since 2010, but rather have diminished in value due to inflation. This is further exacerbated by decades-high recent inflation levels. 

The public sector includes doctors, nurses and teachers. Many of these have seen decreases in real-term pay, including -5% for nurses, -9.7% for secondary school teachers, -4% for firefighters and -13% for police officers. These have been counter-balanced by some increases, such as with train drivers and postmen. However, since 2010, real terms pay for the majority of the public sector has decreased.

Verdict

It is wrong to claim that public sector wages have kept up with inflation. Since 2010, they have decreased in real terms by over 4%, compared to an over 4% rise in real pay since 2010 in the private sector. For many, such as firefighters, police and teachers, average real pay has dropped more than this 4.4% figure.  Philip was repeating a false statement made by Boris Johnson on Sky News three days earlier.

We emailed Chris Philip’s office offering him the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply.  

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