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Cabinet defends pay and pensions reforms

The Government said "pay restraint" had helped protect jobs and its pensions remain "among the very best available" after civil servants announced a strike:

The Government took the tough decision to freeze public sector pay for two years, while protecting those earning under £21,000 by increasing their pay by at least £250 per year.

Pay restraint has helped to protect jobs in the public sector and support high- quality public services.

In March 2012 we set out our final proposed agreements on pension reform following more than a year of intensive discussions with trade unions.

These reforms will ensure that public sector pensions will remain among the very best available and that they can be sustained for future generations.

– Cabinet Office spokesman

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PCS on Home Office strike:'We cannot sit back'

"Ministers have known about these issues for a very long time but have chosen not to act.

"We believe they have acted recklessly and irresponsibly in cutting so many jobs and, in the case of the UK Border Agency, they have simply tried to paper over the cracks by deploying severely undertrained staff at our borders.

"If these issues are not resolved, they threaten to seriously undermine the Home Office's ability to provide vital public services, and we cannot sit back and allow that to happen."

– Mark Serwotka,The General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union
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