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Budget 2013: Triple whammy for public sector workers

PUBLISHED: 09:13 21 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:14 21 March 2013

Norfolk County Council workers are among those who will be affected by the chancellor's changes to pensions and wages.

Norfolk County Council workers are among those who will be affected by the chancellor's changes to pensions and wages.

Archant

The chancellor was accused of forcing millions of families into another year of “severely squeezed incomes” after he announced a further cap on public sector pay.

The budget contained a triple whammy for public sector workers, such as NHS staff, council workers, teachers and civil servants, affecting their wages and pensions.

The chancellor announced wage rises have been limited to an average of up to 1pc in 2015/16, pay progression is set to be reformed and employees will have to pay a greater amount of national insurance than at current levels into their pension pots.

He also announced plans to seek “significant” savings through reforming the system of annual rises through pay progression in the public sector, which he said was difficult to justify given millions of workers had seen their wages frozen or cut.”

That infuriated unions, with TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady accusing the chancellor of being “oblivious” to the tough time public sector workers are enduring or “deliberately setting out to punish them.”

Harry Humphrey, cabinet member for finance and performance at Norfolk County Council, said bosses were looking at the impacts of the changes on their staff.

Mr Humphrey said: “The chancellor has brought forward the timetable for a number of key policies, with both single tier pensions and the social care spending cap brought forward to 2016.

“These will have an impact on the county council and we will need to factor these into our forward planning.”

County council salaries increase through increments, so the authority is looking at how the progression pay reform will affect workers.

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