John Swinney has warned of public sector challengesPublic sector wage rises north of the border will be so low during the coming financial year they will practically amount to a pay freeze, Scotland's finance minister has suggested.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Tayside North MP John Swinney declined to state whether salaries would remain completely unchanged, but claimed he would not be in a position to offer an increase of more than one per cent.

"I expect that to be constrained again when we come to set pay policy. We have to keep the pay bill very closely under control," the SNP politician told a recent gathering of Holyrood's finance committee.

Mr Swinney stressed the need for "flexibility" in the public sector if jobs are to be retained, after the Scottish government's Independent Budget Review asserted that between 35,000 and 60,000 workers will need to be laid off.

Professionals seeking advice on how to deal with government spending cuts could benefit from taking part in the HR in the Public Sector 2010 forum at London's Canary Wharf in November.

Posted by Cameron Thomson