The Court of Appeal ruled that the Government’s 2015 public sector pensions reforms unlawfully treated existing public sectors differently based upon age. The Government has said that to comply with the Court of Appeal’s judgment, it will have to provide a remedy to remove the unlawful discrimination in the changes it made via the Public Service Pension Act. It has argued that these remedies should be considered as additional benefits under the Civil Service Pension Scheme (CSPS) and that therefore costs should be met out of the scheme itself where possible. I understand this decision is being challenged. The Government has stated that once the cost of the remedy is taken into consideration, if any benefit improvements are due under the cost control mechanism, these will be delivered. I expect that promise to be honoured.
This issue follows a decade of pay restraint for civil servants. Public sector pay was frozen in 2010 followed by a six-year pay cap of 1%. As a result, the average civil servant on a salary of £26,000 is now worse off by £2,110 a year. Public sector workers helped to keep this country running during the pandemic and pay should reflect this. I continue to support calls for public sector workers to get a meaningful pay rise.