Public sector pay: when columnists contradict themselves
It’s always a fair bet that an opinion-formers’ bandwagon is gathering pace despite all logic when columnists begin to openly contradict themselves in order to jump aboard. In today’s Guardian, Simon Jenkins provides a characteristically intemperate rant against the Treasury for failing to be tough enough to freeze or cut public sector pay in order to bring down the deficit.
Jenkins obviously doesn’t read his own column too closely because only four months ago, he was saying this:
What the economy needs is not rescued banks but raw spending power. It needs people to pour into shops and showrooms, estate agents and restaurants, hotels and DIY stores. Even were banks lending it would be no substitute for spending to recharge the economy. Only spending power, from the bottom up, will eventually refloat the banking system, not public subsidy. Government can do this by employing people on public projects and services.
How he squares this with his call today for reductions in the disposable income of five million public sector workers and a new-found focus on cutting public spending is not entirely clear to me.