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Chris Grayling does not rule out scrapping public sector pay cap - BBC

Britain's Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting, in central London, Britain June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

LONDON (Reuters) - A member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet on Tuesday declined to deny media reports that the government will soon relax a pay cap for British public sector workers.

Public-sector pay rises have been limited to 1 percent a year since 2013, but British media say May and Chancellor Philip Hammond are making plans to gradually scrap the cap to help combat a growing squeeze on living standards.

Asked in a BBC radio interview if the cap was about to be abolished, transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “We of course listen to the lessons from the general election campaign ... but when it comes to these big financial decisions they are things that have to wait for the budget.”

Hammond is due to present his annual budget later in November.

Nurses and teachers will be among those who will be prioritised when limits on public sector pay growth are eased, according to the media reports.

Scotland’s devolved government said on Monday it will lift a cap on public sector wages to take account of the rising cost of living.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Michael Holden