Public sector wages will fall by thousands, says TUC

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Nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers face seeing their real wages fall by thousands of pounds if Government pay policies continue, a report has warned.

A study by the TUC found that midwives, teachers and social workers will see real pay losses of more than £3,000 by 2020, while nurses, firefighters and border guards face losing more than £2,500.

Ambulance drivers, who already earn below the average UK wage, are set to miss out on more than £1,800, according to the analysis.

The falls are caused by Government restrictions on public pay, which limit increases to 1% a year, which stops wages from keeping up with rising living costs, said the union organisation.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Everyone in the UK has bills to pay, and it's only fair that wages should at least keep up with rising living costs.

"Workers in the public sector are already feeling the squeeze, and it seems like there's worse to come.

"Government pay restrictions hurt staff in overstretched public services, and make it even harder to recruit good people. Particularly at a time of crisis in the NHS, we need to be recruiting the best people for the job."

The TUC called on the Government to reform pay review bodies so they are "genuinely independent".