Liberal Democrats have promised to end pay cuts for public sector workers if the party takes power in the General Election.
Party leader Nick Clegg said Britain’s public sector employees now deserved ‘to see light at the end of the tunnel’ following five years of pay restraint.
A long running dispute between local government staff and employers last year saw around a million workers walking out as part of national protests over pay. Trade unions ultimately accepted a salary rise of 2.2% in November.
The Lib Dems today pledged that they would ensure wage increases for public sector staff at least in line with the cost of living in 2016/17 and 2017/18. Following this, the party would pressure pay review bodies to deliver above inflation rises in following years.
Clegg said his approach to fair deficit reduction meant the Lib Dems were the only party that would avoid further cuts to real terms pay.
‘Workers across the public sector have made enough sacrifices. You have done your bit to help get the country back on track. That’s why the Liberal Democrats believe it is time to end the era of pay restraint,’ he said.
‘No more pay freezes or below inflation pay rises. We can do this because with the Liberal Democrats, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
‘For two years pay in the public sector will, at the very least, keep pace with prices. After that, we will make sure it rises above inflation – giving millions of workers a real terms pay rise for the first time in years.
‘If you are a public sector worker worried Tory cuts threaten your job, or Labour’s refusal to deal with the deficit means another year of pay cuts, then only a vote for the Lib Dems will guarantee you a fair pay deal.’