By Charlie Loran • 20 November 2020 • 5:43
RISHI Sunak to announce pay freeze for FIVE MILLION public sector workers with only nurses and doctors exempt from the cap on raises in bid to fill Covid black hole.
Five million public sector workers face a pay freeze to help pay for the pandemic.
Rishi Sunak will use the spending review to unveil a new era of ‘pay restraint’ to plug the black hole in the public finances.
The Chancellor believes it would be ‘unfair’ for more than five million public sector workers to receive inflation-busting pay rises while many private sector counterparts face wage freezes or redundancy, Government sources claim.
He is expected to reveal a cap on wage increases set at or below inflation. It would hit workers such as teachers, police, civil servants, NHS managers and members of the Armed Forces.
Only Britain’s frontline NHS nurses and doctors would be exempt, in recognition of their heroics throughout the ongoing pandemic.
The bold move is expected to save billions at a time when the public finances have been plunged deep into the red.
But it will be extremely controversial as public sector staff have been criticised for their efforts to tackle the virus.
Mr Sunak is desperate to plug the public finances gap and fund Boris Johnson’s new spending commitments on defence, the environment and infrastructure.
He is also expected to cut at least £4billion from the foreign aid budget, despite a manifesto pledge to maintain it.
A report by the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank suggests a three-year public sector pay freeze would save as much as £23billion.
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