Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Salmond backs public sector pay freeze

dentist. Pic by Science photo library
Dentists are among the public sector workers who will have their pay frozen

The Scottish government will adopt the same approach as the UK government by instigating a pay freeze for top-earning public sector workers.

The plan follows Gordon Brown's decision to implement a freeze on doctors, dentists, judges and top civil servant salaries in England and Wales.

A spokesman for Alex Salmond said such a pay freeze would also affect senior public sector staff in Scotland.

The UK government has said it will hold senior staff pay rates in 2010/11.

That policy is understood to be devolution-sensitive, meaning it applies to GPs, dentists, consultants and NHS managers in England and Wales.

However, some civil servants such as HM Revenue and Customs workers in Scotland will be subject to the UK pay restriction.

Bonuses stopped

The planned freeze comes after the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) said there was "no justification for general pay increases" in the public sector.

However, it did propose rises for some NHS managers and civil servants, but they were rejected by UK ministers.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the "tough approach" to public sector pay would save £3 billion by 2013/14.

The SSRB is independent of the government, but its recommendations are not binding and ministers will have the final say.

The Conservatives have announced plans for an even more wide-ranging public sector pay freeze in 2011 if they win the general election.

It would affect all workers except the frontline military and anyone earning less than £18,000 a year.

The Liberal Democrats too, have said they want to see the overall public sector pay bill frozen and bonuses stopped.

Last week, MPs were awarded a pay rise of 1.5%.

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