LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Thursday he would forgo a pay rise for a third year in a row after he urged people in Britain to show wage restraint in the face of fast-rising inflation.
Bailey said he had turned down a 1.5% pay rise in an interview with Channel 4 News after the BoE predicted inflation would hit 10% later this year and raised interest rates again, even as it said the economy would shrink in 2023.
“The Board asked me, and I said I think the best thing is that I don’t do that.
“I don’t want to preach to people about what they should and shouldn’t do, that’s what I thought was right for me.”
Bailey has eschewed a pay rise each year since he took over as governor of the BoE in 2020.
He angered trade unions in February when he said inflation risked getting out of control without restraint on pay. He hit the headlines again not long afterwards when he struggled to answer a question about his own pay – 575,000 pounds ($709,000) including pension contribution – from a lawmaker.
Earlier on Thursday, Bailey said he was worried about the risk of high inflation feeding into pay rises which could make the inflation problem harder to address.
He also said he was concerned that people on lower pay stood to suffer the biggest income hits as they tended to have the least bargaining power with employers.
($1 = 0.8107 pounds)
(Writing by William Schomberg; editing by James Davey)