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Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced a one year pay freeze for the most senior civil servants, members of the judiciary, senior National Health Service managers and general practitioners, the Guardian writes today.
By targeting the richest public sector figures, this will be seen as a sign that the broadest shoulders must carry the heaviest burden.
Small pay rises of up to 1% for another 700,000 more junior public sector workers such as prison officers, hospital doctors and dentists and contract dentists will be recommended to the independent pay review bodies.
Nurses and teachers on multi-year deals, which do not end after next year will be excluded from the freeze, as will the military.
The General Secretary of the First Division Association, Jonathan Baume, representing top civil servants said, "there is no need to make this announcement now. It means the three-year 7% deal we had until next year is being torn up."
The Chancellor's (governing Labour Party) announcement was made rather strategically during the current Conservative Party Conference. A spokesman for the Conservative Party said, "it is surprising that the Labour Chancellor chose to make this announcement in the middle of a Conservative Party conference. People will question his motives."