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The Chancellor said NHS doctors and nurses will receive a pay rise, but pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be “paused” next year. 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.
But he added: “In such a difficult context for the private sector, especially for those people working in sectors like retails, hospitality and leisure, I cannot justify a significant across the board pay increase for all public sector workers.”
Mr Sunak said the minimum wage will increase by 2.2 percent to £8.91 an hour, with this rate extended to those aged 23 and over.
He said: “Taken together, these minimum wage increases will likely benefit around two million people.”
On departmental spending, the Chancellor said it will total £540 billion next year before noting: “Over this year and next, day-to-day departmental spending will rise, in real terms, by 3.8 percent – the fastest growth rate in 15 years.”
The Chancellor has gone from clapping for carers to giving them a pay freeze, Labour’s shadow chancellor said in response to Mr Sunak’s announcement.
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.”
More to follow…
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