George Osborne should give millions of public sector workers a pay rise in next week's Budget, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said.
Speaking on the first day of the Lib Dems' spring conference in York, Mr Farron said that the 1% annual cap imposed on public sector pay for the past four years contrasted with above-inflation rises for MPs.
Politicians are receiving a 1.3% hike in April, just nine months after they got a 10% pay boost to £74,000.
Liberal Democrats described the continuing cap on public sector pay as "a political choice" as the Chancellor sought to "cut the deficit at any cost".
Mr Farron said: "Public sector workers have been denied a pay rise now for too long. It is time for the Government to thaw the cap on pay for our nurses and teachers.
"When MPs are being given another pay rise it is indefensible for the Chancellor to continue to ignore the plight of our public sector workers.
"I am calling on the Chancellor to put the public ahead of politicians in next week's budget and give Britain the pay rise it deserves."