Cabinet ministers tell May to end austerity: Observer

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2017 6:04 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure from her ministers to end the government's policy of economic austerity as a new poll shows her popularity has slumped, according to the Observer.

Health minister Jeremy Hunt wants the government to drop a cap on public sector pay rises of a below-inflation 1 percent for nurses, while education minister Justine Greening wants more money for schools, according to the newspaper.

Despite her party's expectations of a landslide victory, May lost her majority in parliament in last month's election, pushing her into a deal with a small euroskeptic Northern Irish Protestant party.

The opposition Labour Party fared better than expected in last month's election with its promises of measures such as the end to a 1 percent cap on public sector pay increases.

May's approval rating is now at minus 20 percentage points against a positive rating of 21 percentage points in April, according to a new Opinium survey for the Observer.

British Agriculture Minister Michael Gove told the Sunday Times newspaper that the government should accept the findings of any future public sector pay reviews.

(Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)