The government claims to be concerned about ‘inflation-busting’ settlements. Public sector wages have generally ‘risen’ by 2.7%; private sector wages by 6.9%. Many benefits (not all) have ‘risen’ in line with inflation.
I have put ‘risen’ in inverted commas because incomes have not risen at all. As a simple matter of maths, a rise ‘in line with’ inflation is not an increase in income; it is a reduction.
|Value of income after inflation||89.30|
|2.7% (recent public sector awards)||91.71|
|6.9% (recent private sector awards)||95.46|
|7% (NHS in Scotland)||95.55|
|10.7% (‘in line with’ inflation)
|12.32% (break even)||100|
|19% (the claim made by the RCN)||106.27|
Increasing benefits ‘in line with inflation’ implies a cut in real income. It would take an increase of 12.32% before that did not happen. And the supposedly unaffordable claim by the RCN for 19% is actually a request for an increase in real terms of 6.27%. Since 2010, the real wages of nurses have fallen by 8%. The RCN claim would not restore that level of income.