Foreword by Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution
I am pleased to set out the Scottish Government's Public Sector Pay Policy for 2017‑18 - a distinctive pay policy for Scotland - one that continues our focus on fairness, sustainability and delivering value for money.
As part of this Government's wider spending plans announced at the Budget today, this pay policy is designed to support our economy, tackle inequality and provide high quality services for all - underlining our distinctly Scottish approach.
We are taking this approach in the context of the UK Government's damaging programme of austerity, with deep cuts to spending right across the UK. As a result, the Scottish Government's resource budget will be around 9% lower in 2019-20 than at the start of the decade.
Recognising the financial constraints within which we are operating, this Government has formulated a pay policy that is balanced and reasonable, and works to improve pay particularly for lower paid staff. With this in mind, I have maintained the low pay threshold at £22,000 which will continue to benefit around a third of staff covered by our policy. The policy includes a requirement to pay the Scottish Living Wage and, in line with our ambition to see further increases in the number of accredited living wage employers, supports public bodies wishing to gain this status. Progression remains at the discretion of individual employers.
I am also able to again provide additional flexibility for employers to use paybill savings to address evidenced issues with their pay and grading structures. I am pleased to reaffirm the Scottish Government's commitment to our unique policy of No Compulsory Redundancy which is protecting public sector jobs and front line services.
Finally, I wish to acknowledge the contribution of public sector workers in helping us to achieve our ambitions and deliver our priorities right across Scotland. I want to express my thanks for your efforts to ensure the effective delivery of public services at a time when budgets are being squeezed and other pressures are affecting household incomes.
This policy is about doing the right thing for Scotland's public services, which are a core part of achieving our ambitions for Scotland and are fundamental to our growth and prosperity. As we take on new powers and become responsible for a wider range of public bodies, working together with our public bodies and our trade unions, we can build a better, stronger and more inclusive Scotland.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution