Pay cap is scrapped for public sector workers

The government has agreed to scrap the 1 per cent pay cap for police officers, nurses and teachers
The government has agreed to scrap the 1 per cent pay cap for police officers, nurses and teachers

Public sector workers in Lancashire could be in line for a pay rise after the government agreed to scrap the 1 per cent pay cap.

Public sector workers, including police officers, nurses and teachers, had their pay frozen for two years the Conservative-Liberal Democrat came into power in 2011, and increases have been limited to one per cent a year ever since.

But yesterday ministers approved an average 1.7 per cent rise for prison officers and improvements for police pay totalling 2 per cent for 2017/18.

From 2018/19, the Government will be ready to show “flexibility” in areas where there is evidence of problems with recruitment, retention and skills shortages, said Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman.

Asked whether the introduction of flexibility in pay settlements meant that the cap was over, the spokesman said: “The answer is yes.”

The spokesman said: “Cabinet agreed that public sector workers are among the most talented and hard-working people in our society.

“They, like everyone else, deserve to have fulfilling jobs that are properly rewarded.

“There will still be a need for pay discipline over coming years to ensure the affordability of public services and the sustainability of public sector employment.

“However, the Government recognises that in some parts of the public sector, particularly in areas of skill shortage, more flexibility may be required to deliver world-class public services, including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.”

British Medical Association council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “There is clearly growing support for public sector workers’ message to the government: that the pay cap is unfair, unacceptable and must be lifted.”