Scottish government commits to removing 1% pay cap for public sector staff


The Scottish government has committed to removing the 1% pay cap for public sector employees from 2018-2019.

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister for Scotland, announced her government’s intention to lift the 1% limit on pay increases for public sector staff in a speech to the Scottish Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 5 September 2017).

The 1% pay cap would be lifted for NHS and other public sector staff from 2018-2019.

Future pay policy would instead take into account the cost of living, while ensuring that budgets in the public sector remain in balance.

The government aims to deliver affordable pay rises that recognise the contribution that public sector staff make, and that reflect the circumstances facing employees, such as the impact of rising inflation and social security cuts.

The 1% cap on public sector pay increases was originally introduced in 2013 across the UK after a two-year pay freeze.

The full agenda of the Scottish government’s plans has been published in a report, A nation with ambition: the government’s programme for Scotland 2017-18, which details the government’s wider proposals, such as phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, and exploring the potential for a citizen’s basic income scheme.

Sturgeon said: “We live in a time of unprecedented global challenge and change. We face rapid advances in technology; a moral obligation to tackle climate change; an ageing population; the impact of continued austerity and deep seated challenges of poverty and inequality; and an apparent rise in the forces of intolerance and protectionism.

“These challenges are considerable, but in each of them we will find opportunity. It is our job to seize it. This programme for government is our plan to do that. Ensuring that we have a highly educated and skilled population, able to adapt to the needs of a rapidly changing economy, is vital to our future prosperity and our wellbeing.”