The Chancellor said NHS doctors and nurses will receive a pay rise, but pay rises for most of the rest of the public sector will be ‘paused’ next year.
However, the 2.1 million public sector workers who earn below the median wage of £24,000 will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250 next year, Mr Sunak said.
Rishi Sunak highlighted a disparity between public sector and private sector wages, adding he ‘cannot justify a significant, across-the-board’ pay increase for all public sector workers in the circumstances.
He told MPs: ‘Taking account of the pay review bodies’ advice, we will provide a pay rise to over a million nurses, doctors and others working in the NHS.
‘Second, to protect jobs, pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused next year.
‘But third, we will protect those on lower incomes. The 2.1 million public sector workers who earn below the median wage of £24,000, will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250.’
The Chancellor said the ‘majority’ of public sector workers will see their pay increase next year.
Responding to the spending review statement, Anneliese Dodds told the Commons: ‘Earlier this year the Chancellor stood on his doorstep and clapped for key workers.
‘Today his Government institutes a pay freeze for many of them. This takes a sledgehammer to consumer confidence.’
Among those who will receive a pay freeze are firefighters, teachers, the armed forces, police, civil servants, council and Government agency staff.
Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB union, said: ‘The Chancellor’s public sector pay freeze will hit key workers who have risked everything during the pandemic.
‘This attempt to divide and rule will put him on a direct collision course with public service workers, and he should know that we fought the public sector pay cap before and we busted it.
‘GMB will not accept more pay cuts for our members at a time when the whole country is relying on them.
‘The Government should tax those who have profited from the pandemic – get them to stump up the cash that has lined their pockets, whilst our keyworkers have kept the UK going.’
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