Many of those in the public sector have played an integral part of the national effort to combat Coronavirus. I recognise this, and welcome that many public sector workers in Scotland received an above inflation pay rise in 2020. Public sector pay is largely devolved to the Scottish Government in line with policy areas such as health and education.
Scottish medical and dental staff received a three per cent pay increase in 2021/22. With regard to nurses’ pay, I understand that the Scottish Government has drawn on the significant additional allocations it has received from the UK Government to implement a pay increase of four per cent for NHS Agenda for Change employees in pay bands 1-7.
In 2021/22, public sector pay has been capped at two per cent for those earning between £25,000 and £40,000. For those earning under £25,000, an £800 payment has been be issued. While this is welcome, I would add that the Scottish Government was only able to offer these increases as a result of generous funding from the UK Government. Since the start of the pandemic, the UK Government has provided over £14.5 billion in additional funding to Scotland through the Barnett formula.
The 2022-23 pay policy introduces a Scottish public sector wage floor of £10.50 per hour and provides a guaranteed cash underpin of £775 for all staff who earn £25,000 or less. The 2022-23 pay policy provides a basic pay increase of £700 for public sector workers who earn between £25,000 and £40,000, and £500 for those earning over £40,000.
I welcome that the UK Government is properly funding the Scottish Government, and that as a result, ministers in Scotland are free to make their own decisions with regards to public sector pay.