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Public sector pay rises made a Lib Dem ‘red line’ for post-election talks

Pay increases for public sector workers has been announced as the final Lib Dem red line policy in any coalition negotiations.

The red line policies are six non-negotiable points that the Liberal Democrats insist must be agreed to as part of any coalition talks in the next government.

PSE previously reported that the Lib Dems had included a pledge to increase public sector pay in their manifesto late last month.

When originally announcing the policy Nick Clegg said guidance would be issued to pay review bodies to ensure public sector salaries rise at least by CPI inflation for two years, which is predicted to rise by 0.2% in 2016-17, and 1.2% in 2017-18, and above inflation after those years.

The party said the plans would mean a minimum pay rise of £350 over two years for a nurse paid £25,000 a year, £420 for a police office on £30,000 and nearly £500 for a teacher on £35,000.

Announcing the new red line policy, Clegg said: “Liberal Democrats will not enter a coalition with a party not prepared to back pay rises for people working in the public sector.

“They have paid more than their fair share, and now enough is enough.

“The work they do is the cornerstone of a fair and decent society. We have a moral obligation to support them, and protect the services they provide.

“Jobs and pay are under threat from the Conservatives. They want to embark on a slash and burn approach to the public sector. And Labour’s failure to deal with the economy, allowing austerity to drag on, will prolong pay restraint for many years to come.

“Public sector workers have made enough sacrifices to help our country get back on track. Only Liberal Democrat MPs can guarantee an end to further cuts to pay.”

The other five Lib Dem red line policies include pledges to protect education funding, introduce a ‘stability budget’ within the first 50 days of government, increase the personal tax allowance to £12,500, invest £8bn a year in the NHS by 2020 and to fight climate change.

(Image souce: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

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