HUNDREDS of public sector workers in Swindon will not be getting a pay rise next year.

Teachers, firefighters, police officers, civil servants and council workers are among those hit hardest by chancellor Rishi Sunak's spending review yesterday.

The only publicly-employed workers who can expect a rise are NHS doctors and nurses – who have already been promised a hike – and those workers who earn less than £24,000. Those in the latter camp can expect an increase of at least £250.

Mr Sunak said statistics showed between March and September public sector wages rose by an average of four per cent, while private sector wages dropped by nearly one per cent.

He added: “I cannot justify a significant, across-the-board pay increase for all public sector workers."

The “long-term scarring” from the coronavirus crisis means that in 2025 the economy will still be around 3 per cent smaller than had been expected in March this year, Mr Sunak told MPs.

The chancellor said: “Our health emergency is not yet over. And our economic emergency has only just begun.”

Mr Sunak said councils will have “extra flexibility” to raise money for social care through council tax and the adult social care precept and said the extra £1bn social care grant provided this year will be maintained into next.

Swindon Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance Russell Holland said the authority would have to look at the detail of the announcement while planning the 2021-22 budget for the council.

He said he wouldn’t want to increase council tax higher than an assumed cap of two per cent with another 1.99 per cent ringfenced for adult social care – but did say a better solution for funding care for the elderly needed to be found.

The council will be able to apply to the chancellor’s newly announced levelling-up fund worth £4bn, but any projects funded must be delivered within this Parliament, which has another four years to run, and he said they must command local support.

The national minimum wage will be increased to £8.91 an hour and extended to over-21s but the chancellor said the impact of the coronavirus on the economy will to reduce it by 11.3 per cent – the most it has shrunk for 300 years.

Nurses in Swindon had written to the town’s two MPs asking for a significant pay rise to be announced by Mr Sunak. Forty-four members of the Royal Collage of Nurses who work in the town had written in support of their unions’ demand for a 12.5 per cent increase, saying many nurses “feel undervalued and are driven out by poor pay levels.”

Responding to the spending review, Swindon MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson issued a joint statement:

It read: “While the health emergency facing our country is not yet over, the economic emergency has only just begun.

“The chancellor’s spending review tackles this unprecedented situation head on – ensuring lives and livelihoods in Swindon are protected and supported in the weeks and months ahead.

“At the same time, we were elected at last year’s general election on a commitment to level up communities like ours, and we are pleased that this Conservative government is now making good on that promise – by delivering a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure that will create jobs, grow the economy and increase pride in the place we call home.”