Why should public sector staff get high street discounts?

Doctors, police officers, council workers, teachers, why should they get a discount on the high street because of where they work? These people generally get above the average wage, they get state backed pensions, and I now discover they get money off on the high street because of where they work!? I went out for lunch with my family the other day and I heard the people at the table next to me get 15% off their meal because one of them worked at a school. Is this another well kept secret of the "we’re so hard done by" public sector?

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2 Responses to “Why should public sector staff get high street discounts?”

  1. Andrew R says:

    The short answer is that they got a discount because the owner of that business decided to give them a discount. So why would someone offer discounts to people with particular jobs? Presumably because it brings in more customers, or encourages them to spend more when they do come.

  2. The Tank says:

    Private shops and restaurants are entitled to give discounts to whoever they like. It is not for you or anybody else to pass judgement on them or to dictate who they give discounts to.

    You are also wrong in your assumptions about public sector pay and pensions. I think that you must have got this information from the television and/or papers like the Mirror, Sun or Mail. None of these ever tell the full story, and mostly they don’t properly research their stories before printing their "sensationalist" articles.
    Why don’t you have a go at employees of private companies? Many of these get "perks" of some sort like reduced fares, retail discounts, hotel discounts, company products at cut prices, holidays, private use of company vehicle, bonuses (loads of people get bonuses not just bankers) etc.

    In fact, the public sector employees enjoy very similar terms and conditions to that of their private sector equivalents; no better and sometimes worse. Do some proper research and you’ll soon see that the reports in the press and television are superficial and often misleading, if not actually inaccurate. You should also not take any notice of politicians’ grandstanding, especially Opposition ones. They are always notorious for spouting trivial uninformed botty-burps.

    Maybe your 15% discount to a school worker was to someone who works very hard for something close to the minimum wage. They’re not all "Super Headmasters" on £100k per year!. You should get your facts right by doing some proper research before condemning the practices of retailers and restaurants.

    WAGES: Most public servants are not paid above average. Ask any Town Hall clerk, messenger, dustman, street cleaner, school or hospital auxiliary what they’re paid and you’ll soon find out the truth about that.
    The ones that hit the headlines are professionals like teachers and staff nurses. These are graduate professions and should be compared to graduate professions in the private sector, where wages are usually much higher (and so are company perks). Graduates have to earn more than the national average wage or there’s no point in getting a degree (and a £30k debt, thanks to New Labour).

    PENSIONS: Every public servant pays into their pension fund. It’s not "free". These are occupational pensions which are very comparable to private sector ones. The "taxpayer contribution" is the equivalent of the employer contribution in a private company scheme, where the employer often pays in 4 times the employees contribution. So there is no difference there.

    SECURITY: Job security is not taken for granted in the public sector. There are some jobs which are basic to the functioning of the country so these are relatively secure. For example: you can’t cut front line DHSS staff much more or the state pensions and benefits wouldn’t be paid; the HMRC has already got into trouble because of staff cuts and the consequential income tax errors (without HMRC there wouldn’t be any money to pay pensions or provide any state services at all); etc. Any public servant who is not in one of these basic (financial) areas faces redundancy or privatisation (then redundancy). There are dozens of former state functions that have been privatised since 1994 with more to come.

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