Scottish government to lift 1% public sector pay cap

Posted On: 
30th June 2017

Holyrood ministers are to lift the 1% cap pay rises for Scottish public sector workers - as the UK government continues to hold out against a change.

Derek MacKay and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon
Credit: 
PA Images

The SNP minority administration had faced calls from Scottish Labour to “follow the lead” of their own MPs, who voted to scrap the policy in England in the Commons on Wednesday.

The Royal College of Nursing warned before the election that its members in Scotland were poised to ballot for strikes over claims that their pay had fallen 14% in real terms as a result.

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Scottish Finance Secretary Derek MacKay told the Scottish Parliament yesterday that the “time is up” for the cap and that the next pay review would take account of rising inflation.

“We will take a reasonable approach that absolutely recognises that the time is up for the 1% pay cap. Not only will the SNP commit to that, but we will do it,” he told MSPs.

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said: “Just 50 days ago, Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP MSPs shamefully voted against lifting the pay cap for our dedicated NHS staff.

“The U-turn by her government is welcome, as it is high time that our public sector workers get the pay rise they deserve.”

A Labour bid to lift the cap south of the border was defeated after the Conservatives and DUP joined forces to vote it down.

Downing Street signalled that it was ready to scrap the policy in the Budget, only to row back following a Treasury backlash.

However, it has been reported that Theresa May has privately agreed to lift the cap after lobbying by Tory MPs.