After a decade of our pay being devalued through government-mandated pay restraint, last year in HMRC we managed to secure a pay deal which, at the time, made some inroads into the huge losses we had incurred through that pay restraint. However, that deal comes to an end next summer, and since we agreed that deal:
- The CPI rate of inflation has gone up from 0.7% to around 10%
- The energy price cap has rocketed from £1,138 to £2,500
- The Bank of England base interest rate has jumped from 0.1% to 2.25%.
So even though this year’s HMRC pay rise has been higher than nearly every other civil service department, it’s still effectively a 5% pay cut; and at the same time, fuel bills have doubled, and mortgage interest rates are beginning to spiral.
More money for rich people
It’s looking like another two years until the next general election, and in today’s “mini-budget”, the latest Tory chancellor made it clear whose side they’re on; by abolishing the cap on bankers’ bonuses, abolishing the top rate of income tax, protecting the bloated energy companies and scrapping the planned increase in corporation tax; all this, while cutting benefits – including some in-work benefits – which will impact some of the poorest in our society.
But there is hope. National anger is growing in just about every sector. Even now, all manner of workers are either already in dispute, are balloting for action or are preparing for a ballot; including rail workers, postal workers, BT/Openreach engineers, dockworkers, university and college lecturers, nurses, teachers and firefighters.
Like civil servants, all of these workers provide essential services which keep the country running. If we all act alone, the government may try to sit-out the campaign, but all of us acting together, will put the government under the kind of industrial pressure not seen for decades. Acting together, we can win.
For more about why HMRC members need to vote yes in the ballot, read the latest briefing.