Strike action by civil servants looks "increasingly more likely" in a dispute over pay, a union has warned.
The Public and Commercial Services union is calling for an urgent meeting with the Government after being told a cap on pay would only be lifted through cuts and increased workloads.
The union pointed out that existing budgets for government departments mean only a 1% rise for the civil service and staff in related areas is possible.
The union is demanding a 5% rise and has warned that if the Government doesn't negotiate, 125,000 members could walk out later this year.
General secretary Mark Serwotka said: "The Government announcement on pay marks a further betrayal of civil service staff, a further broken promise and our members will not accept it.
"The announcement confirms the Government is limiting pay rises to its own staff to between 1% and 1.5% and saying that any further rise has to be funded through cuts and increased workloads in individual government departments.
"The union was told we would be consulted on this document before it was released. Failure to do so represents yet another lie.
"We are currently balloting our 125,000 members for industrial action on pay and if the Government doesn't engage in meaningful negotiations to reward hard working staff properly, the PCS will launch a sustained period of strike action later this year.
"The Government's announcement makes industrial action increasingly more likely."