In his Autumn statement, George Osborne has confirmed he will continue to restrain public sector pay, to the dismay of social work unions.
The chancellor said he aimed to make a further £12 billion worth of savings by the next parliament, having saved the same sum since 2010 by controlling the pay of social workers and other public sector employees.
Independent watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility has projected the move will lead to the loss of 1.1m public sector jobs.
Lien Watts, assistant general secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU) said this announcement would worsen the already critical social work recruitment situation.
“The issue of recruitment and retention in local authorities is well known, with some councils being forced to compete for staff. This will no doubt sap morale even further as it sends a negative message about how social workers are valued.
“No social worker goes into the profession for the money, but people still need to live. Social work is an incredibly tough job and this latest squeeze on spending will be extremely disappointing for local authority staff,” she said.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said the hardest hit by the continuing cuts were communities and the most vulnerable.
“The truth is four years of austerity has caused untold damage to the economy, to the public services families rely on and to the daily lives of millions of people.”