British govt staff work less, earn more

London: British government employees spend nine years less at work than their private sector counterparts in their lifetime but earn 30 percent more, a new study has revealed.

Workers of public sector firms enjoy better pay than those in the private sector, as well as better pensions, shorter working hours, and earlier retirement, according to the study by Policy Exchange.

Over their lifetimes, private sector employees work 23 percent longer - equivalent to an extra nine years and 10 weeks - than those in public sector.

However, the average gross pay is 22,417 pounds sterling in the public sector and 19,932 pounds in the private sector, the report said, adding that on an hourly basis, the typical public sector worker is 30 percent better paid than their private sector counterpart, a news daily reported.

Between 1997 and 2007, public sector productivity fell, while productivity in the private sector increased by nearly 28 percent - leaving the former only two-thirds as productive as the latter.

The public sector has pension schemes worth up to 15 percent on top of salary, the report says, while public sector pay costs have soared by more than a third in real terms over the last seven years - three times faster than in the private sector.

The study based on figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that more than seven million people are now employed in the public sector, over a million more than official figures suggest.

And four billion pounds more is spent on marketing, PR, customer service and office managers` jobs in the public sector than in 2002.

Policy Exchange director Neil O`Brien said: `Under the last government the pay bill got totally out of control, increasing three times faster than in the private sector. Pay spiralled even though productivity was collapsing.