Unions have reacted with fury at chancellor Gordon Brown’s decision to award below-inflation pay rises to nurses and other public sector workers.
Brown told MPs yesterday that he had accepted recommendations from the pay review body that awards be kept within the government’s 2% inflation target.
Nurses and other health workers will get a 2% rise. The CPI inflation measure targeted by the government is 2.7%.
“The overall awards come within the inflation target at 1.9% demonstrating our total determination to maintain discipline and stability and continue with an 11th year of sustained economic growth,” Brown told parliament.
The Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) said Brown’s announcement amounted to a ‘slap in the face’ for public sector workers.
“With the Retail Price Index at over 4% and the real cost of living higher than that, to limit pay rises to below 2% amounts to a slap in the face for public sector workers,” said Peter Allenson, T&G national organiser for public services.
“Our members are being hit by a double whammy of below real inflation pay rises plus an increasing workload as the change agenda is rushed through with job cuts, increased pressure, poor consultation and falling morale.”
The Treasury said other increases are: Junior doctors 3%; dentists 2%; senior military 2%; senior civil service 1.4%; the judiciary 2.4%; prison officers in England and Wales 2.5% and prison officers in Northern Ireland 2%.
Members of the Armed Forces are alone in getting an above-inflation rise.