Millions of workers prepare for Budget pay raise as public sector freeze ends

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Millions of workers are lining up for Budget pay raises as the Chancellor announces that the UK economy is “soundly back on track” after the coronavirus pandemic.

Ishi Sunak confirmed in Wednesday’s financial statement that public sector salaries will be frozen for one year, paving the way for a possible pay rise next year for staff such as teachers, nurses, police and armed forces personnel.

According to the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics, there were 5.68 million public sector workers registered in June.

Last November, the Chancellor ‘paused’ public sector salary increases for 2021/22, excluding the NHS and those earning less than £24,000 following heavy borrowing during the Covid-19 crisis.

But on Monday, Mr. Sunak said it was “true” for frontline workers to “see their wages increase” as the economy recovered after virus restrictions were lifted.

The government also announced that it will raise the minimum wage for nearly two million workers and that wages for those aged 23 and over will rise from £8.91 to £9.50 per hour as of April 1.

According to the government, an increase of 59 percentage points per hour to the so-called “national living wage” would mean that the lowest-paid full-time worker would receive an increase of over £1,000 a year, an inflation-busting 6.6% increase. .

But critics have questioned how much better off workers would be, given that the Chancellor has already increased National Insurance and cut Universal Credit as inflation rises, while the consumer price inflation rate currently stands at 3.1%.

While the economy is solidly on track, it’s true that nurses, teachers, and all other public sector workers who played a role during the pandemic are seeing their pay rise.Chancellor Rishi Altar

Mr Sunak increased National Insurance Contributions for workers by 1.25% to help pay for NHS and social care, while earlier this month Universal Credit ended the coronavirus increase of £20 per week.

In a statement announcing his decision to lift the public sector wage freeze, Mr Sunak said: “The economic impact and uncertainty of the virus meant that we had to make the difficult decision to stop public sector wages.

“This action, along with our Business Plan, has helped protect our livelihoods at the height of the pandemic.

“And now, as the economy is back on track, it’s true that nurses, teachers, and all the other public-sector workers who have fallen on them during the pandemic are seeing their wages rise.”

Pay for most of the front-line workforce, including nurses, police officers, prison officers and teachers, is determined through an independent pay review body that advises ministers.

Officials said the Government will seek “full recommendations” from relevant industry payers with awards to be announced next year.


Teachers can queue for pay raises after Chancellor announces public sector pay freeze will be lifted (Liam McBurney/PA)

Christina McAnea, general secretary of the Unison union, told Whitehall departments that the pay freeze will continue “out of name” unless extra money is given by Mr.

Meanwhile, the Treasury appears to have almost confirmed to lawmakers that the fuel tax will continue to be frozen in the Budget, after reports suggesting the Chancellor wants to offset pandemic borrowing by increasing taxes on pumps.

But as concerns over livelihood escalated on Sunday and witnessed record oil prices, the Conservatives in the back row were told the fuel tax would likely remain stagnant.

This came after deputies from the Northern Research Group wrote to the Chancellor to warn that it would be a “mistake” to increase the mandate.

The group, led by former northern power station minister Jake Berry, said: “Bikers cannot continue to be the cash cows we rely on to pay the price of economic hardship or the pandemic.” Said.

The announcement of the public sector salary and minimum wage increase came despite the rebuke from Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle over the number of details the Budget had previously announced.

Sir Lindsay suggested that ministers resign due to the amount of publicity previewed in the press before Mr. Sunak addressed Parliament.

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