Pay protests bring thousands onto UK city streets

The BBC reports that this weekend saw tens of thousands of people have protested in London, Glasgow and Belfast about pay and austerity. Many of those protesting were public sector workers such as teachers and nurses opposed to a below-inflation 1 per cent pay offer from the government. The “massive turnout” will send a strong message to Downing Street, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Frances O’Grady has said.

The government says pay restraint has safeguarded jobs and services. A Treasury spokesman said the government had helped workers by cutting income tax, freezing fuel duty and helping local authorities to freeze council tax.

The TUC, which organised the protests under the slogan “Britain Needs a Pay Rise”, said between 80,000 and 90,000 people ha taken part in the London march. There has been no independent confirmation of this. The march in London was “very peaceful and well organised”, the Metropolitan Police said.