Issue date
21 Nov 2017
• Less money being spent on high streets and in local businesses, warns TUC • Last year, the South West lost £812 million due to public sector pay restrictions

The public sector pay cap has reduced spending power in the South West by £3.9 billion since 2010 according to new analysis published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The analysis shows working people in the public sector have seen a dramatic reduction in their spending power with workers on average, earning £2,608 less today than if their pay had risen in line with inflation (CPI).

In the last year alone, the South West economy has suffered a loss of over £812 million.  And out of the 50 poorest constituencies in England, nine are based in the South West.

Recent TUC polling shows that one in seven (15%) public sector workers skipped meals this year to make ends meet. And one in four (24%) say they couldn’t pay an unexpected bill of £500.

Research published by the IPPR last week revealed that raising public sector pay would boost spending in local economies, help the public purse by raising tax revenues and reduce the cost of in-work benefits.

TUC South West Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said:

“The public sector pay squeeze has driven up in-work poverty. We are now seeing more working households living under the poverty line than ever before. Not only has this had personal and financial impact in the home, but it means less money is spent on high streets and in local businesses.

“The pay cap is a false economy. The Chancellor must use tomorrow’s Budget to give all public sector workers the pay rise they have earned, and end these artificial pay restrictions.”

Editors note

South West breakdown

Total loss of disposable income 2010-2017

Total in-year Real terms pay loss 2010-17

CORNWALL

Camborne and Redruth

£45,182,277

£9,415,461

North Cornwall

£44,658,275

£9,306,265

South East Cornwall

£32,010,682

£6,670,654

St Austell and Newquay

£53,465,609

£11,141,611

St Ives

£34,136,888

£7,113,730

Truro and Falmouth

£112,968,054

£23,541,228

£322,421,785

£67,188,949

DEVON

Central Devon

£24,871,586

£5,182,949

East Devon

£83,209,908

£17,339,976

Exeter

£188,521,570

£39,285,701

Newton Abbot

£49,889,688

£10,396,430

North Devon

£65,026,257

£13,550,715

South West Devon

£31,894,063

£6,646,352

Tiverton and Honiton

£34,333,790

£7,154,762

Torbay

£99,969,236

£20,832,425

Torridge and West Devon

£32,598,683

£6,793,186

Totnes

£33,978,093

£7,080,639

£644,292,874

£134,263,135

PLYMOUTH

Plymouth, Moor View

£124,698,242

£25,985,663

Plymouth, Sutton & D'port

£71,238,139

£14,845,199

£195,936,381

£40,830,862

Devon and Plymouth

£840,229,255

£175,093,997

DORSET

Mid Dorset & N Poole

£36,075,003

£7,517,611

South Dorset

£46,110,459

£9,608,883

North Dorset

£38,262,838

£7,973,530

West Dorset

£110,146,337

£22,953,215

Bournemouth East

£83,942,056

£17,492,548

Bournemouth West

£60,584,952

£12,625,199

Christchurch

£34,033,783

£7,092,244

Poole

£89,155,651

£18,579,000

£498,311,079

£103,842,230

AVON

Bath

£98,364,863

£20,498,093

Bristol East

£45,361,326

£9,452,773

Bristol North West

£133,207,039

£27,758,797

Bristol South

£45,577,581

£9,497,837

Bristol West

£255,400,153

£53,222,420

Filton and Bradley Stoke

£159,169,705

£33,169,114

Kingswood

£32,075,648

£6,684,192

North East Somerset

£36,466,169

£7,599,125

North Somerset

£47,691,074

£9,938,265

Thornbury and Yate

£48,394,360

£10,084,821

Weston-Super-Mare

£56,262,935

£11,724,541

£957,970,853

£199,629,978

WILTSHIRE

Chippenham

£62,096,797

£12,940,250

Devizes

£59,268,373

£12,350,839

North Wiltshire

£22,338,530

£4,655,090

Salisbury

£109,162,965

£22,748,292

South West Wiltshire

£58,332,416

£12,155,797

£311,199,081

£64,850,268

SWINDON

North Swindon

£71,785,131

£14,959,186

South Swindon

£111,959,390

£23,331,034

£183,744,521

£38,290,220

Wiltshire and Swindon

£494,943,602

£103,140,488

SOMERSET

Bridgwater & W Somerset

£76,977,472

£16,041,209

North East Somerset

£36,466,169

£7,599,125

North Somerset

£47,691,074

£9,938,265

Somerton and Frome

£30,546,052

£6,365,442

Taunton Deane

£137,961,598

£28,749,591

Wells

£37,808,941

£7,878,943

Weston-Super-Mare

£56,262,935

£11,724,541

Yeovil

£77,200,300

£16,087,644

£500,914,541

£104,384,760

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Cheltenham

£140,451,208

£29,268,397

Forest of Dean

£24,347,951

£5,073,830

Gloucester

£138,867,624

£28,938,397

Stroud

£40,585,613

£8,457,569

Tewkesbury

£47,008,210

£9,795,964

The Cotswolds

£31,620,483

£6,589,341

£422,881,089

£88,123,498

- A full list of spending power losses by constituency, along with a breakdown of the 50 poorest is here: bit.ly/2zLmjDI

- IPPR study into the impacts, costs and benefits of removing the pay cap: www.ippr.org/research/publications/uncapped-potential

- All statistics are based on TUC calculations on official ONS figures. The number of full time equivalent public sector workers in each region or constituency is taken from the Nomis dataset. Public sector pay figures come from table Table 25.7a of ASHE ‘Annual pay for Public Sector - Gross (£) - For full-time employee’ and table 9.7a of ASHE ‘Annual pay - Gross (£) - For all employee’. Data based on all constituencies where ONS data available

- Salary losses have been calculated using the CPI measure of annual inflation for April of each year through to April 2017. CPI was the government’s preferred measure of inflation until 2017 and is preferable to CPIH when looking at earlier years, because the treatment of housing costs in CPIH changed significantly in 2014.