Scottish government prepares wage freezeThousands of public sector workers in Scotland will have their salaries frozen for up to a year following finance secretary John Swinney's Budget announcement later today (November 17th 2010).

Around 250,000 employees – including anyone earning over £21,000 per annum – are expected to have their wages held at their current level until at least 2012 as part of the Holyrood executive's effort to cut spending by £1.3 billion.

"No one is under any illusions about the scale of the cuts which are being imposed on us by the UK government," Mr Swinney said. "We will do everything within the powers we currently have to safeguard [the economic] recovery."

The minister reserved criticism for both the former Labour and current Conservative-Liberal Democrat governments, accusing the latter of slashing expenditure "too far and too fast".

Earlier this month, the Independent reported that Britain's top civil servant Sir Gus O'Donnell had consulted with business leaders on the issue of public sector cutbacks.

Posted by Hayley Edwards