Boris Johnson to offer UK public sector workers 5% pay rise

Boris Johnson has been accused of ‘having his own relationship with the truth’

Boris Johnson - Credit: Fredric Legrand- COMEO/

UK public sector workers will apparently be offered a pay rise that averages out at around five per cent next week in one of Boris Johnson’s last acts as Prime Minister.

According to a Financial Times (FT) report late on Friday, July 15, unnamed government ministers said that Johnson is planning to make the offer ahead of annual pay reviews for more than half of the civil service.

With inflation running close to ten per cent, the unnamed source said that Johnson and the government were likely to accept the recommendations of independent pay reviews and award increases of around five per cent.

Public sector pay has lagged behind the private sector with austerity measures resulting in consecutive years of low increases, and last year’s 1.5 per cent falling well behind the nearly eight per cent seen in parts of the private sector. The latter has been bolstered by one-off bonuses and other enticements to attract and retain staff.

The suggestion that the pay sector rise could be around five per cent follows initial reports of a two per cent rise, but that the recent industrial action had made the government think again. The change will according to the FT cost the government around £7 billion (€8.2 billion) more annually.

One cabinet minister was quoted as saying: “If you went below their recommendations, you’d save a bit of money but what would be the net saving?”

“You’d end up with a lot of strikes and a big economic hit. You’re going to have strikes in any event, but that would make things much worse.”

The offer if true is bound to cause some difficulties, with rail unions having been offered four per cent. A five per cent pay rise might also not be acceptable to UK public sector workers, with unions likely to ask for much more now that they have an idea of what the government is willing to pay. More strikes could be on the cards.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at