Letter: Public sector pay

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Sir: The dismissive government reaction to public sector pay claims, as summarised in your leader ("Top jobs with tough responsibilities merit top salaries", 18 September) seems hypocritical from the party which rated such high expectations in April.

It is difficult to blame the medical, nursing and teaching professions for expecting fairness from the public sector pay round under a Labour Party which campaigned to "save the NHS" and put "education before dogma" and govern for "the many and not the few".

Labour's election pledges were always wholly incompatible with Tory spending plans and the promises made by both parties to the high earners of middle England. This fact is perhaps now dawning on the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the National Union of Teachers. The Cabinet's posturing over their last few thousand pounds is entirely irrelevant: the fact is that the wealthy few like them won't have to pay any extra tax on their big increases to help the public services afford smaller rises for the many.

Dr EVAN HARRIS MP

(Oxford West and Abingdon, Lib Dem)

House of Commons

London SW1

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