Boris Johnson warns against ‘crazy Corbynite splurge’ over public sector pay
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there had to be a “balance”.
Boris Johnson has stressed the need to be “fiscally sensible and responsible” in the approach to public sector pay in the latest sign the Government is not about to embark on a spending spree.
Allies of the Foreign Secretary had previously indicated he supported ending the 1% cap on pay rises as splits in the Cabinet emerged over the issue.
But after Theresa May poured cold water on calls for an end to the squeeze on wage rises, Mr Johnson acknowledged it was “important that you manage your economy sensibly” and do not have a spending “splurge”.
Mrs May told MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday that upcoming recommendations from pay review bodies for teachers, police officers, prison wardens and senior civil servants would be “very carefully” considered.
But she left little doubt her position chimes with that of Chancellor Philip Hammond, who has warned a relaxation of pay restraint would require extra borrowing or tax rises to avoid increasing the deficit.
Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there had to be a “balance” and highlighted Mr Hammond’s acknowledgement people were “weary” of restraint.
But he told the programme: “What we believe is that you can’t endlessly borrow, you can’t endlessly spend.
“I think the country has done well to cut the deficit by three quarters in the way that we have and that leads to huge economic benefits, more jobs, more business confidence.
“You can have cheaper interest rates, you can do all sorts of things that matter to people.”
He added: “It is very, very important that you manage your economy sensibly and you don’t just go for a crazy Corbynite splurge.”
But it was important to “recognise that people are weary of restraint” and when the public sector pay review bodies report the Government would look at them “very closely”.