Trade unions reacted angrily to the suggestion public sector workers should bear the responsibility for restraining inflation.
The TUC deputy general secretary, Paul Nowak, said: “These claims are nonsense. Making sure people can afford to pay their bills and put food on the table is not going to push up inflation. Inflation is being driven by rising energy costs, not pay demands.” He added: “Key workers in the public sector have endured a decade of wage cuts and freezes. At a time when staff shortages are crippling frontline services, this would be a hammer blow to workers’ morale.”