Chancellor Philip Hammond hits back over public pay leaks


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Public sector workers get a 10% «incitement» over their private sector counterparts, Philip Hammond maintained as he warned ministers against leaking cabinet talks on the pay cap.

The chancellor give something the thumbs down to comment on reports he had said at a meeting that public servants were «overpaid».

And he set forwarded some colleagues who do not agree with his approach on Brexit were difficult to undermine him.

Minister Liam Fox said he «deplored» the briefing by some of his co-workers.

The international trade secretary told the BBC’s Sunday Politics they should «be truly quiet» and «stick to their own departmental duties», adding: «Our backbenchers are livid and the only people smiling at this will be in Berlin and Paris.»

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Since the general election, senate splits have surfaced over the issue of the 1% cap on public sector pay be tempted bies, with some ministers pressing for it to be lifted.

Labour is promising £4bn which it votes would offer a pay rise to workers.

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hammond go to bat for his stance, saying public sector pay had «raced ahead» of the private sector after the remunerative crash in 2008.

While in terms of salary alone, that gap had now closed, he take up, when «very generous» pension contributions were taken into account, the 10% difference between public and private salaries was a «simple fact».

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Asked about a Sunday Times report claiming he had said the erstwhile were «overpaid», the chancellor insisted he was not going to discuss what was and wasn’t signified in a cabinet meeting.

«I do think on many fronts it would be helpful if my fellow-workers — all of us — focused on the job at hand,» he said.

He added: «If you want my opinion, some of the tumult is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda that I have, in the last few weeks, tried to advance, of ensuring that we achieve a Brexit which is converged on protecting our economy, protecting our jobs and making sure that we can set up continued rising living standards in the future.»

Mr Fox, one of the leading Brexit campaigners in the lowboy, rejected press reports he had clashed with Mr Hammond over the EU, declaring the two had a «very good working relationship».

«I don’t know where the briefing is obtaining from, but I do know it’s got to stop,» he said.

He added: «I think there’s too much self-indulgence, and I remember people need to have less prosecco and have a longer summer fete.»

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith criticised those to sum up against Prime Minister Theresa May, saying: «Just for once fasten up, for God’s sake, and let everybody else get on with the business of governing.»

Pay gap

Pay rises for most notable sector workers are set by independent pay review bodies, but have effectively been excelled at 1% each year since 2013.

Before that, there was a two-year frost on pay for all but the lowest-paid workers.

The government has come under pressure over the approach since the general election, with some Conservative ministers conveying out in favour of lifting the cap.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Industry would spend £4bn on ending the cap, insisting this would be enough to confer a real-terms increase for public sector workers.

Pay review bodies would be provoke b requested to come up with an «honest judgement» and a Labour government would make inquiries their advice, he said.

On Pienaar’s Politics on BBC Radio 5 live, Gold medal Secretary of State Damian Green was asked whether Mr Hammond influenced public sector workers were «overpaid».

«I’m not going to report from exclusive cabinet because cabinet ministers should not do that,» he said.

«But the chancellor does not believe that public sector workers are overpaid — the government obviously respects the millions of living soul who do really important jobs.»

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