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62 per cent said now is the ‘right time’ to lift the restraints on workers’ pay [Image: Getty].

How pleasant to see that the majority of people in the UK believe the public sector pay cap has been unjust and should be lifted!

And how unpleasant to see that the minority Conservative government’s reaction is to pretend to be helping, while in fact doing nothing of the kind.

Two years of pay freezes followed by four years with pay rises capped at one per cent mean, for example, that teachers’ unions have been able to claim that average pay has fallen by 15 per cent behind inflation since 2010.

With inflation now standing at 2.9 per cent, the rises announced for prison officers (1.7 per cent) and for police (2 per cent) are in fact still pay cuts as they do not cover the increase in the cost of living.

Add to that the fact that the Tories have said the pay rises must be funded from existing budgets and we can see that the Tories have piled insult upon injury.

Already police forces across the country have said the only way to achieve these increases is to cut the number of police officers – leading to increased strain on the remaining officers and reducing the UK’s ability to detect – for example – terrorist bomb plots.

The only thing the Tories will be able to achieve with this insult is the further collapse of the services involved and an increase in the nation’s vulnerability.

Isn’t it time somebody asked them why they think that is desirable?

A majority of the public believe the public sector pay cap has been unjustified and agree now is the time to remove restraints on workers’ wages, according to new polling for The Independent.

It comes as Downing Street said earlier this week that the seven-year public sector pay cap is to be scrapped, unveiling a 1.7 per cent hike for prison officers and improvements totalling 2 per cent in [police] pay for 2017-18.

It is expected that ministers will announce further rises for other workers in the public sector at the Chancellor’s Budget in November.

Read more: Majority believe public sector pay cap has been unjustifiable and now is the time to end it, new poll says


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