According to the Treasury, the decision means that more than five million public sector workers could be in line for a pay rise in 2022
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will end the year-long public sector pay freeze in Wednesday’s Autumn Budget.
It follows announcements on increases to the minimum wage, a mooted revamp of alcohol duty and funding pledges for both the NHS and T-Level education.
The move will pave the way for millions of workers to receive a pay hike.
Mr Sunak will declare that the UK Government’s Spending Review conclusion is that the public sector pay freeze, brought in due to heavy borrowing during the Covid-19 pandemic, can be brought to a close.
According to the Treasury, the decision means that more than five million public sector workers could be in line for a pay rise in 2022.
Officials said the Chancellor was able to make the move due to the solid recovery of the economy since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
Speaking before the expected announcement, Mr Sunak said: The economic impact and uncertainty of the virus meant we had to take the difficult decision to pause public sector pay. Along with our Plan for Jobs, this action helped us protect livelihoods at the height of the pandemic.
And now, with the economy firmly back on track, it’s right that nurses, teachers and all the other public sector workers who played their part during the pandemic see their wages rise, he said.
It comes after public sector pay increases were paused in 2021/2022, with the exception of increases for NHS staff and workers earning less than £24,000.
The general secretary of the UK’s largest trade union, Unison, Christina McAnea said the pay freeze would continue “in all but name” unless Whitehall departments were given extra money by Mr Sunak to fund the wage increases.
Meanwhile, the National Education Union’s (NEU) joint general secretary, Kevin Courtney, described the announcement as big on promises but short on detail.
Teachers, support staff and school and college leaders will not have a clear sense this week of what is in store, and there is no prospect of clarity until 2022, Courtney said.
He said: The Chancellor must do more than win a day’s headlines. He must make good on this latest pledge to drive up pay for those who kept this country on its feet throughout the pandemic.
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