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The economic emergency the UK faces means “tough choices” had to be made over which public sector workers would get a pay rise, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the BBC.

In Wednesday’s Spending Review, he announced a pay freeze that will affect 1.3 million workers.

Staff on less than £24,000 and some NHS workers will get a wage rise.

But shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds criticised the move, saying it would hit consumer confidence.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Sunak said: “I’ve had to make some tough choices and what I couldn’t do is justify an across-the-board rise in public sector pay.”

Private sector wages have fallen as jobs have been lost, hours have been cut and workers have been furloughed, he said.

Mr Sunak has warned that unemployment could rise to 2.6 million by the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, the Resolution Foundation think-tank has warned that the Covid-crisis could dent average pay packets by £1,200.

“I am determined to protect jobs and this will help me protect jobs,” said Mr Sunak.

Read the full story on BBC. COM

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The economic emergency the UK faces means “tough choices” had to be made over which public sector workers would get a pay rise, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the BBC.The economic emergency the UK faces means “tough choices” had to be made over which public sector workers would get a pay rise, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the BBC.The economic emergency the UK faces means “tough choices” had to be made over which public sector workers would get a pay rise, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the BBC.The economic emergency the UK faces means “tough choices” had to be made over which public sector workers would get a pay rise, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the BBC.