U.K.'s May Set to Start Easing Public Sector Pay Cap, BBC Says

  • Government will lift salaries for police and prison officers
  • Public sector workers have seen wage growth curbed for 7 years

Theresa May

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government will lift the pay cap for police and prison officers in the first sign it’s prepared to ease seven-year-old limits on the income growth of public sector workers, the BBC reported.

It would be the first time the government has relaxed the curbs, which froze pay for two years in 2010 and subsequently limited its annual growth to 1 percent.

With inflation accelerating, May is under growing pressure to rethink the cap, especially as Brexit looms and after her Conservative Party unexpectedly lost its parliamentary majority in June’s snap election. Polls show voters are tired of the belt-tightening, and labor unions will call on Monday for state workers to get a raise.

The Treasury will soon issue guidance on next year’s pay round, which is also set to boost wages in fields such as teaching and nursing, the BBC said on Sunday.

Reports from the Office for National Statistics this week are expected to show pay increases continuing to lag price growth in Britain.

May’s Cabinet split over the topic during the summer. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Michael Gove both suggested the cap should be eased, while Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said ministers should “hold our nerve” on spending restraint.

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