Tuesday 30 June 2020 5:42 pm

City of London Corporation criticised for awarding above-inflation pay rises during coronavirus crisis

A London think tank has slammed the City of London Corporation for giving staff a pay rise above inflation levels during the coronavirus crisis.

The Corporation recently confirmed that all its staff would receive a 2.25 per cent yearly pay rise from 2020 to 2023 as well as an additional 5 per cent annual increase in London loading, which is an allowance paid to public sector workers.

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The annual rate of UK inflation to April was just 0.9 per cent.

An email sent by Corporation councillor Edward Lord to all staff, and seen by City A.M., said the pay rise was a part of “a three-year deal agreed with our recognised trade unions and senior staff representative group”.

Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the right-wing TaxPayers’ Alliance think tank, said the pay rise was exorbitant considering the current economic downturn.

The City of London Corporation is a Square Mile-based local authority that funds public services, such as the City of London Police, as well as the management of public spaces it owns such as Hampstead Heath.

“This is a real kick in the teeth for taxpayers, especially those who don’t know if they will have jobs to return to this year,” Fone said.

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“This pay surge cannot be justified in the current economic circumstances, especially given it’s hard-pressed ratepayers who have received fewer services while fearing furlough or worse that have to foot the bill.”

Responding to the criticism, Lord said the pay increases were justified.

“Our staff continue to make an exceptional contribution in these very challenging times to maintain critical services for the City’s residents, workers and visitors,” Lord said.

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“We are committed to recognising the efforts of our staff while also delivering value for money.

“This pay award will benefit the lowest paid workers the most and reflects the higher costs of living and/or working in central London.”