Many public sector workers in Scotland are likely to have a pay freeze amid plans to protect thousands of jobs, the finance secretary has revealed.
John Swinney will unveil the measures in his “most challenging budget” since the SNP took office in 2007.
Workers from the NHS, emergency services, schools and the civil service earning more than £21,000 are believed to be affected by the new plan.
As part of a “social contract”, the burden on household bills will be eased by moves such as extending the council tax freeze. Mr Swinney said it is hoped the freezes will save 10,000 jobs.
Councils, MSPs and Scottish government ministers have already seen attempts to restrain their pay packets, but this will now be dolled out across the public sector.
He laid the blame for more than £1bn in cuts with the previous Labour UK government and present Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition at Westminster.
In a statement, Mr Swinney said: “Hard choices will need to be made but it can be easier for all who live here and cohesion maintained within our communities by developing a social contract with the people of Scotland.”
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