There’s a saying that, even if you don’t actually have a problem, if enough people are annoyed about something, then you do.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one yesterday choking on my toast at the news that the judiciary have been recommended a 32% pay award that’s set to lift their salaries by up to £60,000.
Let’s just have a wee look at that shall we?
Not the 3% awarded this year to teachers and nurses, or the 2% allotted the police but 32% - you see? Three and two stuck together.
Leaving the teachers to one side for a moment - a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) claimed they were sixth highest earners in the developed world in their profession - let’s look at the nurses who currently earn between £1,300-1,500 a month after tax students loans and so on.
That’s £620 a month less than the national average. Admittedly that figure of £2,119 is before tax but, even so, that 3% rise won’t exactly have them scrambling for a holiday home in Cornwall, will it?
Yet, the judges’ award, if approved, will amount to more than three times the nurses’ entire £18,000 salary.
Now we come to the police, whose ‘union’, the Police Federation, recently accused politicians of cheating its members out of the increase they deserve after it ignored the recommendation of a 3% rise for officers.
That wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that the Conservatives created the independent Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) in 2014 and has now ignored its recommendations for two years in a row.
Last month, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick described the decision not to go along with it as a “punch on the nose”, warning that it had affected morale and recruitment.
Yet those are two of the exact reasons given for the judges’ increase - one 10 time bigger than the nurses and 15 times larger than the police.
No-one is saying that the judges don’t deserve a rise, but its hard just now to see the Tories as anything other than the party for the select few- not quite what Mrs May was getting at at the party conference.
A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work?