Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”The private sector median pay settlement over the three months to May was actually 4%, and so what we’re doing here is in line with the private sector”

Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, BBC News

Facts

Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, claimed that the government’s proposed public sector pay rise was in line with the private sector and that the median pay growth in the private sector from March to May 2022 was 4%. 

ONS data proves that the average pay growth in the private sector, between March and May 2022, was 7.2%. This is in comparison to the 1.5% growth in the public sector. Private sector pay growth has outstripped public sector growth since February 2021. The government’s proposed 5% pay rise is also not in line with the 7.2% average pay growth in the private sector, and is below inflation.

Verdict

Clarke’s claim was wrong. Private sector pay growth was 7.2%, not 4%, in the months leading up to May. The private sector has outstripped the growth in pay of the public sector since February 2021, and the government’s proposed 5% pay raise in the public sector is still below the rates seen in the private sector, not in line with it.

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

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