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SNP lifts public sector pay cap in Scotland

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
Nicola Sturgeon will scrap the 1% cap on public sector pay rises in Scotland.
The First Minister insisted nurses, teachers, police officers and firefighters "deserve a fairer deal for the future" amid rising inflation.The SNP leader set out the pledge as she unveiled the Scottish Government's legislative programme for the coming year to MSPs.In May, a Labour motion on lifting the 1% cap on pay rises for nurses was defeated at Holyrood after SNP and Conservative MSPs voted against it.Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday the pay cap "while never desirable" was "necessary to protect jobs and services"."However, with inflation on the rise, it is not sustainable," the First Minister added."Our nurses, teachers, police officers and firefighters deserve a fairer deal for the future."Indeed, the need to recruit the staff that our public services depend on also demands a new approach."We will therefore aim to secure pay rises from next year that are affordable, but which also reflect the real life circumstances our public servants face and the contribution our public services make to the overall prosperity of our country."
SNP lifts public sector pay cap in Scotland

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Public sector workers such as firefighters were told they 'deserve a fairer deal'
The First Minister's pledge will increase pressure on Theresa May to similarly lift the 1% per year cap on public sector pay rises for the rest of the UK.Following June's snap General Election, the Prime Minister has faced repeated calls, including from her own party, to ease austerity measures and lessen the restrictions on public sector pay.This week, Downing Street signalled the public sector pay cap, which has been in place since 2010, will be raised above inflation for the first time in eight years.Ministers are due to send out letters to the independent pay review bodies within weeks, in which they can offer guidance, and are understood to be preparing to back a lifting of the cap.Responding to Ms Sturgeon's announcement, Scottish Labour's interim leader Alex Rowley welcomed the lifting of the pay cap but warned "it cannot be done on the back of cutting even more from public services".John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group, said: "Taking into account pensions, public sector workers earn 10% more than those in the private sector, and those private sector workers are the ones who will have to subsidise this spending increase."Ms Sturgeon announced the Scottish Government will bring forward a total of 16 Bills in the coming year.
news.sky.com
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