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Minister says lifting public sector pay cap 'is under active discussion'

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Lifting the public sector pay cap is "under active discussion" in Whitehall, according to a government minister.

Police minister Nick Hurd told MPs that frontline public sector workers should be "paid fairly for their work".

His comments came after Boris Johnson became the latest Cabinet minister to suggest that the 1% limit on state employees' wage rises should be ditched.

Pay review bodies looking at police and teachers' pay are both set to report this month, with a chance both will recommend increases above 1%.

Mr Hurd said: “We want to make sure that frontline public service workers, including the police, are paid fairly for their work, not least because of the contribution that they have made over the years to reducing the deficit that we inherited from the party opposite. And in that the work that they have done to safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"How we do that, in a way that is sustainable and affordable, is under active discussion."

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt are also keen to see the cap relaxed, with Mr Hunt specifically calling for nurses to get a pay rise.

Earlier today Downing Street suggested nurses, doctors and soldiers will not get a pay rise before next April at the earliest.

“The position is exactly as I set out last week, in that there are pay review bodies reporting, we’ve responded to some and we’ll respond to others in due course, as is normal,” the Prime Minister’s spokesman said.

“For 17/18 nurses, doctors, dentists and all armed forces have had and agreed 1% uplifts. Still to come are teachers, police, senior civil servants and police officers.”

Asked whether No 10 was ruling out revisiting the deals for 2017/18 in light of the general election result, the spokesman said: “These were the recommendations that were made for 17/18 and we’ve accepted them... These are the settlements for 17/18.”

The health service and defence pay review bodies are not due to report again until next spring.

Asked about Mr Hurd's comments, a Downing Street spokesman said: "There are public sector pay review bodies carrying out their work in the process of working through recommendations, that's what the minister was referring to, and we will respond to the pay review bodies in due course."

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