Public Sector Pay Cap

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th July 2017.

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Photo of Gerard Killen Gerard Killen Labour/Co-operative, Rutherglen and Hamilton West 12:00 am, 19th July 2017

What recent discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on the public sector pay cap.

Photo of Liz McInnes Liz McInnes Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

What recent discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on the public sector pay cap.

Photo of Tonia Antoniazzi Tonia Antoniazzi Labour, Gower

What recent discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on the public sector pay cap.

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland

I hold regular discussions with my Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of matters of importance to Scotland. The Scottish Government are responsible for Scottish Government pay.

Photo of Gerard Killen Gerard Killen Labour/Co-operative, Rutherglen and Hamilton West

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer and I want to give him another opportunity to clarify his view on the reported comments of the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the weekend. Does he agree that public sector workers are overpaid?

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland

The hon. Gentleman will have seen what the Chancellor said on Sunday: he said that there are areas in the public service where recruitment and retention are becoming an issue and areas of the country where public sector wages and private sector wages are getting out of kilter in the other direction. It is important that we have a discussion on those issues.

Photo of Liz McInnes Liz McInnes Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Yesterday, in this Chamber, a Treasury Minister declined to answer a question on the grounds that it was way above his pay grade. Should not we be grateful to our public sector workers for not taking that attitude, and is it not high time that they got the pay rise they deserve?

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland

I fully acknowledge the contribution that public sector workers make across the UK, and particularly in Scotland. Of course we will listen carefully when the pay boards make their recommendations.

Photo of Tonia Antoniazzi Tonia Antoniazzi Labour, Gower

Sixty-six per cent. of public sector workers in Wales, another devolved country, are women, and I suspect that the figure is a lot higher in Scotland. In the light of that, does the Secretary of State not agree that the public sector pay gap is now fundamentally unsustainable and is not only eroding the living standards of women and families but damaging the economy?

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland

We are all concerned about the gender pay gap. Some figures released within the last hour by a public sector organisation suggest that there are significant gender pay gap issues at the BBC. I set out my position in my previous answer: it is for the Scottish Government to determine pay for Scottish Government employees, and the Government’s position has also been set out.