Don’t hate HMRC staff over their 13% pay rise

HMRC logo under a magnifying glass
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People have been reacting to the news that the government is giving some HMRC staff a pay rise. Understandably, they’ve been making comparisons to NHS staff’s 1% increase. But as some people have said on social media – we shouldn’t begrudge HMRC staff a decent raise.

That 13% HMRC pay rise

The FDA is the trade union for “professionals and managers in public service”. It recently wrote about the government pay deal for some HMRC staff. The FDA said that talks on this pay deal started in July 2020 and now the government and trade unions have reached a deal. The FDA said this was:

a three-year deal giving an average pay award of 13% across the term. A 3% increase would be awarded in March 2021 (backdated to June 2020), followed by a 5% increase in June 2021 and a 5% increase in June 2022.

It wasn’t just the FDA which was involved. Other bodies such as the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union were too. But some people on social media are upset about it. This is because the Tories are only giving NHS staff 1%:

But people also made important points. Lina said:

And another user pointed out:

Divide and conquer

Moreover, people pointed out that it plays into the Tories’ divide and conquer agenda, among other things:

Of course, in reality most public sector staff have seen their real terms pay take a hit since 2010. As Unison pointed out, the cost of living (inflation) in the last decade rose by 35.6%. It noted that:

The average public sector worker has seen an even steeper 14% decline in the value of their wages. For the public sector worker who has not benefited from any incremental progression in their pay, the cut has been 18%, leaving their 2020 wage over £6,800 down on the value of their earnings in 2009 and the accumulated loss from their wage failing to keep pace with inflation each year standing at over £53,307.

So, HMRC staff’s 13% rise across three years barely makes up for a lost decade.

Scraps off the Tories’ table

Meanwhile, as one Twitter user said, the situation for nurses is dire:

And let’s not forget the “inadequate” £20 Universal Credit uplift. Nor must we ignore the millions of legacy benefit claimants who haven’t got any increase at all. The number of households living in destitution more than doubled in 2020. But never mind. Because while all this was going on, Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings got a 40% pay rise in 2020. And MPs, meanwhile, got an “inflation-busting” 3.1% pay rise, bringing their annual salary close to an eye-watering £82k.

So we shouldn’t be angry at other workers earning more money. Our anger should be directed at a system and its gatekeepers which allow so many people to live in poverty in the first place. HMRC staff getting scraps off the Tories’ table is the thin end of the wage crisis wedge.

Featured image via DPP Law – Flickr

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  • Show Comments
    1. As with the Thatcher years, towards the end the majority of the country would have gladly welcomed Basil Brush into number 10, unfortunately we got mealy mouthed blue Blair. Will we perpetuate the circle of self-serving party pony’s with ‘Keith’………
      kakistocracy must end…

    2. As a medically retired ITU nurse, at no time since I became a student in 1978 has any political party followed through on its promise to us. Used and abused by all. When the top salary is mentioned, please remember that one third is deducted for national insurance, superannuation and tax. Rising costs for: rent, council taxes, travelling expenses and let us not forget, parking charges for staff, not just nurses takes its toll on that huge sum mentioned. Then students have also a student loan to repay also. The Chumocracy is content to plunder The Treasury for themselves and their friends and indulge themselves in a continuing cull of the citizens, first through The Austerity Cull (estimated 100 000 deaths) and now The Pandemic Cull – 130 000 and counting. I do hope UK citizens join me in a Civil Litigation Action versus the fascists.

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