Numbers, numbers

The pay gulf has more than doubled in the last two years, with the average earnings of public sector workers rising to £22,405 last year.

Until 2005, private sector workers received more than the typical state employee, but now they receive only £20,988 on average.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed that staff employed by the state are enjoying bigger pay rises, working fewer hours and receiving pensions worth up to three times as much as those in the private sector.

Mmmm, gosh, hope that\’s all worth it.

The pay gulf comes despite a decline in public sector productivity in the 10 years from 1997. It fell by 3.4 per cent compared with a rise of 28 per cent in the private sector over the same period.

Ah, so it\’s not then.

Yes, the public sector workforce has a different skills profile than the private. Yes, productivity is more difficult to improve in services than it is in manufacturing and the State is mostly services. But then so is most of the entire economy services as well.

But even with all of those caveats, a widening of the productivity gap by 30% is an appalling result for all the extra that\’s been spent.

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