Cuts to jobs and services are the likely price of pay rises for a million public sector workers.
Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond has refused extra cash to fund long-overdue hikes for troops, teachers, doctors, police and prison officers announced today – so ministries must find it from existing budgets.
Unions are fearful. Unison’s Christina McAnea said: “The Government is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“Without money from the Treasury to fund these pay increases, services and jobs somewhere will have to be cut.”
Pay awards after eight years of “austerity” misery include 2.9% for the armed forces, 2.75% for prison officers and 3.5% for teachers. Police, doctors and dentists will get 2% yet the current inflation rate is 2.3%.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said 5% hikes were needed but rises with no funding will “be paid for by cuts”.