00:59 GMT30 November 2020
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    Reports of a pay cap being introduced for frontline and public sector workers included in the UK chancellor's spending review on Wednesday has led to a backlash from industry representatives. Among them are law enforcement, who have had to enforce the government's coronavirus restrictions throughout the pandemic.

    The UK Police Federation vice chair said on Sunday that a freeze on public sector pay would be a “slap in the face” to officers who served throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

    Che Donald’s comments follow reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review will introduce a pay cap for millions of state sector workers, including frontline staff and police officers.

    In an interview with Sky News the same day, Mr Sunak rejected a return to austerity cuts, but Mr Donald speaking to LBC said the proposal “smacks of austerity” and is “inherently unfair”.

    “Considering that it has been our police officers out there in the fight against coronavirus, this just looks and feels like a smack in the face for everything they have done to try and prevent the spread of the virus and to police the public while this has been going on”, he explained.

    “This has to be struck into the context that when we look at the first three months of the coronavirus, assaults against police officers went up 21 percent", Mr Donald added.

    He continued saying that halting police officer pay, "while they have been out there policing this, contracting the virus, some officers even dying of the virus" was unfair.

    ​The ruling Conservatives have rejected accusations that they plan to introduce a renewed austerity scheme, with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay, telling LBC Swarbrick on Sunday, that there will be no "return to austerity" and the country will see "big investment in our public services".

    On Wednesday, the chancellor is set to outline a widespread spending plan to secure the nation's finances and aid in economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, but added that "people will see the scale of the economic shock laid bare".

    coronavirus, COVID-19, austerity, wages
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