Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Pay Cap on U.K. Health Workers Scrapped, Hunt Tells Lawmakers

A 1 percent cap on annual pay increases for workers in the U.K.’s state-run National Health Service has been abolished, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told lawmakers.

The statement followed a government announcement last month that overall limits on public-sector pay in place since 2011 were being eased amid voter anger that wages are failing to keep pace with inflation, which hit 2.9 percent in August.

“The pay cap has been scrapped,” Hunt said in answer to questions in the House of Commons in London on Tuesday. “We recognize it wasn’t sustainable to carry on with the 1 percent going forward and that’s why next year we’ve been given the leeway to have more flexible negotiations.”

Hunt didn’t give details of how much pay would rise. The government said last month that police and prison officers would be the first to benefit from the removal of pay caps, with police getting a 2 percent increase this year. However, in an effort to keep spending under control, the money for extra pay will have to be found from within existing budgets.

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