September 12, 2017 / 12:16 PM / 10 months ago

UK relaxes grip on public sector pay, agrees to lift 1 pct cap

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Britain has agreed to relax pay constraints for some public sector workers, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Tuesday, adding it would need to be flexible towards pay rises in other sectors whilst maintaining fiscal discipline.

After seven years of tightly controlled public sector pay, police and prison officers will be the first to benefit from the new position after the government agreed to accept the recommendation of independent pay review bodies for increases above the 1 percent cap.

“There will still be a need for pay discipline over the coming years to ensure the affordability of public services and the sustainability of public sector employment. However the government recognizes that in some parts of the public sector, particularly in areas of skill shortage, more flexibility may be required,” the spokesman said.

Prison officers will receive an average pay increase of 1.7 percent in 2017/18, while police will receive a 1 percent increase to their basic pay, plus a one-off additional increase of 1 percent for 2017/2018.

The government said the pay rises would be paid for within existing departmental budgets. (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

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