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UK gives inflation-busting pay rise to public sector


BRITAIN said on Monday that it will award small pay rises to almost one million public-sector staff, in a parting gesture from Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

Staff including doctors, teachers and soldiers will see their annual salaries climb by more than the rate of inflation, which currently stands at about 2.0 per cent.

At the party conference last year, Mrs May promised to end a decade of austerity since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 but her pledge was greeted with scepticism by the opposition after years of cuts. The raises, which will be backdated for the current 2019/2020 financial year, will include an increase of 2.75 per cent for teachers, 2.5 per cent for doctors and dentists, 2.5 per cent for police officers and 2.9 per cent for armed forces personnel, the Treasury said in a statement. There will also be a rise of at least 2.2 per cent for prison officers, and 2.0 per cent for senior civil servants and senior military staff.

"Whether it's keeping us safe, saving lives or educating the next generation, our public sector workers deserve this pay rise in recognition of the brilliant job they do on a daily basis," said Mrs May in one of her final policy announcements before stepping down on Wednesday.

"In 2017 we ended the public sector pay cap and I'm pleased that we can build on this today by giving almost a million of our dedicated public servants an above inflation salary increase."

However, trade unions blasted the move, which was first reported by The Times newspaper on Friday, because it will be funded from existing budgets. AFP