A JEREMY Corbyn government would refuse union demands for a 5 per cent public sector pay rise, a Labour big wig revealed.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said the party couldn’t “promise things we can’t deliver”.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies last week said a 5 per cent hike would cost the Government £9billion.
Ms Rayner said Labour would instead ensure workers get a hike in with inflation – currently estimated to cost £6billion.
Labour pledged to set aside £4billion to lift the pay cap in its June Election manifesto.
Her comments marked the first time a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s top team has categorically ruled out being able to meet the demands of Labour’s paymasters.
Speaking to the BBC, Ms Rayner said: “We’re a government in waiting; the Conservatives would like you to think that we’re talking about a magic money tree and promising things we can’t deliver.
“We’ve set out quite clearly that we would like to give – we’d love to give public sector workers a 5 per cent pay rise but we cannot do that at the moment.
“What we’ve said is we will make sure that they get an inflation pay rise which is more than what this Conservative government have done.”
Union leaders demanded 5 per cent at TUC Congress – after Theresa May ripped up the pay cap with a 2 per cent hike for police and 1.7 per cent for prison officers.
Mark Serwotka, head of the PCS Union said every public sector worker deserved a raise of at least 5 per cent to keep up with inflation – and make up for increases in National Insurance and pension contributions.
He said: “There are no deserving or undeserving public sector workers.”
Speaking this morning Ms Rayner – touted as a future leadership contender – said Labour would “start putting us on the right path”.
But she admitted: “It’ll take longer than I would personally like to see, but we have to be responsible about that.”
It’s the second time Ms Rayner has intervened to dampen expectations of Labour’s economic programme.
After the Election, she rubbished claims Labour may write off student debt – saying Jeremy Corbyn’s idea would cost the country £100billion.