Peter Hoskin

Mind the pay gap

Mind the pay gap
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Given the worries that many in the private sector have over both their financial and job security, the 'pay gap' figures highlighted by Francis Maude could well provoke a bit of anger.  Here's how the Mail reports them:

State workers now earn an average £62 a week more than their private sector counterparts  -  a 50 per cent increase in the differential since 2004.

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It comes at a time when public sector employment is rising while private workers are losing their jobs at a rate of more than 1,000 a day.

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In 2004, estimated median public sector earnings  -  those in the middle range of pay  -  were £452 a week, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Private sector median earnings were £410 a week, £42 less.

The difference remained roughly the same between 1997, when Labour came to power, and 2004. But last year the public sector level was £522, against £460 for private employees. It will be a tough one to manage politically, but - for the sake of economic growth, as well as for the public finances - the next government will need to somehow limit the incentives to chose public above private.  Any ideas, CoffeeHousers?