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Government 'playing austerity card' over wages

2.3% rise still below inflation

A union head has urged government to 'stop playing the austerity card' with public sector wages.

Eric Holmes from Unite says he welcomes the news that civil servants and manual workers will receive a 2.3% pay rise, pending ministers' approval.

The increase comes as a result of binding arbitration, and follows a 2.2% rise under similar circumstances last September.

Unite claims it will equate to a 42p-per-hour increase in real terms - which Mr Holmes says is still below inflation:

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