The chancellor described the economic outlook as “light at the end of the tunnel”, but offered nothing but gloom for most public sector workers.
Philip Hammond spoke of an extra £9 billion already committed to NHS funding, including £4 billion for 2018-19. He announced there was more to come if NHS management and unions reach an agreement on pay.
With an absence of any commitment from the chancellor to scrap the 1% pay cap for the vast majority of public sector workers, the PCS national pay campaign will now step up.
Reacting to the chancellor's statement, Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary, said: "This statement was an insult to public sector workers who have suffered years of pay restraint. Despite claiming in the autumn budget that the pay cap was lifted, there is no evidence to back that up. Any extra increases being floated are mainly coming out of existing budgets, resulting in further cuts to services. Civil servants, not covered by a pay review body, are yet to receive a formal offer. Our members – and all public service workers – deserve an above inflation pay rise”
“We welcome that the shadow chancellor John McDonnell raised the issue of public sector pay in his reply. He is right to raise this and the grave threat to our public services from years of austerity."
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Story updated at 2.49pm on 13 March to include a quote from Mark Serwotka.