The forecast, unveiled at a conference in London yesterday, is based on the assumption that public sector pay will start to rise at around the same level as private sector pay. Carl Emmerson, deputy director of the IFS, said pay restraint had brought the wage gap back to where it was before the recession. ‘On average, public sector workers get paid more per hour than private sector workers,’ he said. ‘That’s not surprising – they have on average higher levels of education.
‘So, for example, you would expect a surgeon to get paid more than the average private sector worker.
‘Public sector pay restraint since 2010 has brought this ratio back to pre-crisis levels – it’s unwound the unintended increase in public sector pay relative to private sector pay that occurred during the Great Recession.’ At one point, in 2011/12, public sector wages were 18 per cent more than the private sector’s.
Public sector wages rose more than private under the one eye Scotchman, have fallen less since the recession.