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Public sector pay freeze on the cards for millions of workers

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The chancellor is reportedly looking to impose a pay freeze for millions of public sector workers to help balance the books amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rishi Sunak is facing backlash from unions after reports suggested that he’s planning to announce a pay restraint as part of next week’s mini budget.

However, it is understood that the pay freeze would not be applied to NHS staff, including doctors and nurses.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: “Freezing the pay of millions of key workers is no way to reward their service.

“The very least they deserve for getting us through this crisis is a proper pay rise.”

In July, the government announced members of the armed forces, teachers, police officers, prison officers, doctors, the judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel would see an up to 3.1% pay rise this year to reflect their efforts in the battle against Covid-19.

Nearly 900,000 workers were expected to benefit but NHS workers were overlooked, leading to anger and disappointment, particularly as more than 500 NHS and social care staff died from coronavirus at that time.

Thousands of NHS workers took to the streets to demonstrate as they campaigned for ‘pay justice’.

The reports come just a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a £16bn military spending rise – the largest defence spending in 30 years.

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