Is there any excuse for a pay rise?

payIn the UK the Chancellor and the head of the government’s spending watchdog are talking about pay freezes for millions of public sector workers.

This trade unionist thinks it’s unfair.

In Michigan, staff at Oakland University are upset at news of a pay freeze when their President’s salary increased 40% last year. And British Airways wants its staff to take a 2 year pay freeze.

Maybe times aren’t quite so tough at the Palace as the Queen has offered her staff a pay rise at the same time as asking for one herself.

Should we all take a pay freeze? Can anyone justify a pay rise?

14 Responses to “Is there any excuse for a pay rise?”

  1. 1 Ramesh, India
    July 6, 2009 at 11:51

    Freeze on pay rise is entirely justified, if not pay cuts. During recession, survival is more important to enterprises, public or private. If the pay is just freezed without any cut in it, the lucky workers and employees who could hold on to their jobs should consider it as 5% hike at least as the prices of various things fell dramatically.

    July 6, 2009 at 14:03

    Economically speaking, payrise is not a necesity but a created necessity. On one hand some aspects of business have been left to regulate themselves but have abused fairness. For the on top of the ladder cadres, there have been disproportionate increases with total disregard of interests junior staff who are rarely or poorly considered. In a controled economy most employees are contended with their annual which rightly reflects their experience at work.

    Secondly, incessant demand for payrises might affect the marketability of the products or services, which have to cover huge uncalled for overheads.

    That said, whenever the economy is mismanaged as it is now increasingly noticed everywhere, it means that workers can not afford their upkeep or meet their goals in life as the cost of living might go out of control. In such cases, it is important to have a payrise whenever economic effects shift upward.

  3. 3 Tom K in Mpls
    July 6, 2009 at 14:13

    If there becomes a shortage of qualified people applying for the positions, just as in the private sector, yes. Or if it is likely to save even more money by controlling corruption in political/public positions, yes. Otherwise, no.

  4. 4 Maggie in US
    July 6, 2009 at 14:47

    I’m unfamiliar with the labor laws in the UK, so I am not sure what rules govern the public sector workers; however, many of our local goverment positions are being cut to help meet budget requirements. Of the people I know effected by these cuts, they would have preferred a pay-freeze instead of unemployment.

  5. 5 globalcomedy
    July 6, 2009 at 16:58

    The people at the top will always go for as much as they can get. Why? Because they’re “entitled” to it. Name one Wall Street CEO that disagrees with this.

    • 6 Tom K in Mpls
      July 6, 2009 at 17:25

      globalcomedy, with very few exceptions, everybody, everywhere, will do the same. That includes you and me. If you can do it, more power to you, literally. ‘The Top’ doesn’t matter.

  6. 7 Ann
    July 6, 2009 at 17:56

    “Is there any excuse for a pay rise?”

    In the current economic climate that answer to that question might be NO – if it wasn’t for the fact that millions of people are earning such low wages that they cannot even afford the necessities of life.

  7. 8 Lynn
    July 6, 2009 at 18:31

    Here in California, our politicians have chosen to allow cuts in funding to a broad spectrum of public entities from Cities to Public Health and have begun to send I.O.Us to state workers. But, these same legislators who historically have not been able to work together to arrive at some consensus and discover some way to turn this desperate situation around for the good of the State, are still getting their paychecks.

    There has been some investigative reporting about outrageous perks these politicians enjoy and I wish there would be more focus on these Legislators who can not fulfill their duties yet receive not only their pay but all the perks they can get away with.

    I say, hand the Legislators the I.O.Us and repossess their expensive State paid cars and yank their gas credit cards and any other perks they get before taking funding away from schools and programs and services to the elderly and physically and mentally and financially needy citizens and other cuts they’ve chosen to allow by not doing their jobs!

  8. 9 RightPaddock
    July 6, 2009 at 19:10

    The private sector is in recession, it can’t get or can’t afford to borrow money at prevailing interest rates.

    Cutting government spending by lowering public sector wages means less consumer spending. That results in lower, zero or negative economic growth. Less growth means fewer jobs in the private sector, especially in the retail sector, which flows onto garment workers in Bangladesh, car workers in Japan, that results in less demand for raw materials, fabrics from Pakistan, iron ore from Australia, and further job losses in those sectors.

    Right now most governments can borrow money at significantly lower rates than the private sector, a modest increase in public sector wages or tax cuts is a good way to stimulate the economy.

    Might not work in UK though because its economy is in such deep doo doos. Which is almost entirely due to Gordon Brown’s performance as finance minister, why so many regard him as an economic genius is beyond me.

  9. 10 RightPaddock
    July 6, 2009 at 19:24

    Sorry – also wanted to say that perhaps the UK should replace those who haunt the halls of Westminster with the lady from Buck House. She seems to have a better understanding of economics than the Gordon, Alistair, David, George collective. Maybe Vince Cable could be her assistant.

  10. 11 Jim Newman
    July 6, 2009 at 22:15

    Hello again
    The corrupt society which allows some to ‘earn’ enormous amounts of money whilst others struggle to make ends meet makes the question superfluous.
    Money is not a means of exchange but a means of control and those who are controlled are little more than slaves.

  11. 12 Ramesh, India
    July 6, 2009 at 23:12

    If you want to know why people give high regard to Gordon Brown, you need to recollect the economic situation UK was in when Tony Blair was elected as PM in 1997. At that time, rest of europe used to laugh at UK! Within a few years, Brown turned things around in such a way that UK Pund gained so much strength that silenced pro-euro campaigners in UK.

    The economic crisis is not due to Brown being there as finance minister(are you from India?), but because of UK banks following american counterparts. When americans were unable to decide how to deal with the crisis, Brown plan showed them the way. In that way, Brown has done a great job not just to the americans and Brits but to most of the world depending on western economies. Thumbs up to Brown!!

  12. 13 Dennis Junior
    July 7, 2009 at 04:07


    Should we all take a pay freeze? (Yes)

    Can anyone justify a pay rise? (Not in a econonic downturn)….

    I think that in an economic downturn there is simply no reason for a pay rise in response to Michigan College…..Story!

    ~Dennis Junior~

  13. 14 Bob
    September 24, 2009 at 08:09

    There is an old saying so true about politicians: if the people are sheep you get wolves for leaders. So it is everywhere, as people have been motaphorically neutered.

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