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Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, responding to today’s local government pay settlement, said:

“George Osborne promised he wouldn’t balance the books on the backs of the poor. In freezing public sector pay, he promised the lowest paid workers £250 to help cover the increasing cost of living. But today’s announcement shows that promise was worth nothing. Employers should get back round the table to work out how the lowest paid council workers can be helped in these tough times.”

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor said:

“This announcement is further confirmation that George Osborne has broken the promise he made in his first Budget that the lowest paid workers would be protected from his public sector pay freeze with a £250 rise. Yet again almost a million low paid workers in local government won’t get that protection.

“The average pay cap of one per cent for a further two years to 2015 announced in the Autumn Statement is a consequence of George Osborne's failed economic policies. While Labour cannot duck that reality, in tough times different choices can be made. Pay restraint can and should be done in a much fairer way, which is why last month I wrote to the Chancellor asking him to insist on tougher settlements at the top to give bigger pay rises to those on lower incomes. After failing to deliver on his promises, he must now listen and act.”

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