The Scottish Government understands that wage rises are one of the best ways to help people facing rising costs and the cost of living crisis.
That is why the SNP Scottish Government has committed to delivering record pay settlements throughout the public sector.
Pay deals offered, and accepted, in Scotland have consistently been higher than those in England.
This is despite the fact the Scottish Government is working with a constricted budget, set by a Westminster Government that has refused to deliver acceptable pay increases.
In 2022-23 the Scottish Government prioritised funding for enhanced public sector pay deals to support those who need help most, spending over £700m more than originally budgeted.
But the Scottish Government’s funding is not inflation-proofed – the UK block grant was not increased this year for increased pay or inflation, so any Consequentials for 2023-24 start from that lower baseline.
The UK Government has chosen not to act on public sector pay, so the Scottish Government’s approach to pay is subject to constrained funding.
The total pay bill for the devolved public sector is currently over £22bn [2022-23] – equivalent to over half of Scotland’s resource budget. If the pay bill grows faster than the Scottish Government’s overall funding, it squeezes its wider capacity to maintain services.
The SNP in Westminster have therefore repeatedly called on the UK Government to deliver suitable and sustainable pay rises to public sector employees, which would help people facing the cost of living crisis and unlock funding for the Scottish Government to deliver further uplifts and support services in Scotland.
The Tories, and Labour, have both refused to commit to true uplifts in pay for public sector staff however, leaving Scotland suffering at the hands of Westminster inaction.
Only with independence will Scotland have the full financial powers necessary to ensure that public sector pay in Scotland is never again held back by short changing in Westminster.