Northern Ireland Office
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Statement from Secretary of State on public sector pay

Statement in relation to the public sector strikes across Northern Ireland (18 January 2024).

Today’s strike will be disruptive for people across Northern Ireland. I understand the serious concerns that people across Northern Ireland have about the impact this action will have on vital public services.  

While public sector pay is devolved, the UK Government has offered a fair and generous package worth over £3bn which would address public sector pay and provides more than £1bn to stabilise public services. This will require Ministers being back to work in Stormont so that decisions on governing can be taken in the round.

I am deeply disappointed that the significant funding offer from the UK Government to address such issues has not been taken up. This package has been on the table since before Christmas and will remain there, available on day one for an incoming Northern Ireland Executive. 

It is regrettable that the NI Parties were unable to come together yesterday to elect a Speaker and restore the executive. The people of Northern Ireland deserve local political leadership from representatives they have elected to govern on their behalf.

The UK Government has made a significant offer that would help address the challenges facing public sector pay and Northern Ireland’s finances. It is time for the NI Parties to take decisions on how they will best serve the interests of the people of Northern Ireland.


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