By freezing thousands of public servants’ pay Sunak is undermining the public sector

25 November 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced a one year spending review setting out plans for government spending for the next year.

Rishi Sunak Credit Treasury

As part of the review the chancellor announced that there would be a freeze on public sector pay for all but those in the NHS or on less than £24,000 a year.

There was also still no support for those excluded from the COVID support schemes.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy, responding to the spending review, said:

“The Chancellor started his statement by promising stronger public services, but by freezing the pay of many thousands of public servants he is undermining the very people who are the foundation of our public sector.

“The comparison of public and private sector wage growth was insulting and failed to acknowledge the public servants have just emerged from eight years of draconian pay restraint, and those who suffered the most under that restraint are set to bear the brunt again.

“This freeze will cause huge damage to recruitment and retention in key areas, such as environmental agencies and health and safety, and will be a bitter blow to people who have gone above and beyond to deal with the twin challenges of coronavirus and Brexit.

“While increased spending for some departments is welcome, it is set against the fact that most have faced deep cuts over the past decade.

“And if we are really going to recover strongly from the pandemic, the government must address the millions of workers still unfairly excluded from his economic support schemes.”

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