Commenting on Philip Hammond's refusal to deny that he said public sector workers were "overpaid" Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said:
”I am very surprised by Philip Hammond’s reported comment the public sector workers are “overpaid”. Who exactly is he talking about? Nurses? Teachers? Police officers? Servicemen and women?
"There is very clear evidence of chronic shortages and recruitment difficulty in many of our essential services. Basic economics, let alone wider ideas of fairness suggests that Hammond's position is totally unsustainable.
"Allowing inflation-offsetting increases is reasonable and affordable if some of the extravagant tax cuts of the last two years were to be revoked."