Labour figures 'stand up' on boosting public sector pay packets

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Labour would pledge £4 billion to "scrap the cap" on public sector pay, a shadow minister has said, but insisted there was "no guess work" when asked if the party would commit to above inflation pay rises.

Shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler claimed the 2% increase in police pay announced by the Government on Tuesday amounted to a real-terms cut at a time when inflation was running at 2.9%.

She told Sky News's Sunday With Niall Paterson: "Well it's not actually a pay rise in terms of it's less than inflation, so 1.75% is less than 2.9% inflation, so essentially it's still a cut and for seven years they've not had a pay rise."

Asked whether the £4 billion was enough to give the public sector an above inflation pay rise, she replied: "We're not talking about above inflation pay rise...what they could do is they could give public sector workers (an) inflation pay rise, that's what they could do now if they had the political will to do it and they are choosing not to do it."

Pressed on whether Labour was committing to above inflation pay rises, the MP for Brent Central said: "Labour is committed to scrapping the cap.

"We've said it, we've had it in our manifesto. It's not a new policy, it's a policy that's there and fully costed."

She added: "As I said, the Labour Party, we are the Government in waiting so what we can do is say this is what a Labour Government will look like, this is what you can be guaranteed under a Labour Government, that's our statement of intent, as a Government in waiting, so we've committed the £4 billion to ensuring that we would scrap the cap.

"It's been fact checked time and time again, everybody's fact checked the figures and the figures stand up."

Ms Butler added that "when we've got the books in front of us we'll be able to then decipher what else we'll be able to deliver for public sector workers, but we need to see the figures and the books".

She went on: "We're not guessing, there's no guess work."

Ms Butler said Labour wanted a "jobs first Brexit" and rejected the claim the party's position was confusing.

Asked about remaining in the Single Market, she said: "The policy is really quite clear...We'll be in during the transitional arrangement."

She added: "The transitional period means that we will be in the Single Market for as short a time as possible, but for as long as necessary because what we don't want to see is our economy fall of that cliff edge because of the uncertainty to businesses."