Unison has condemned Alistair Darling’s pay controls as a betrayal of public sector workers.

Responding to the 1 per cent, two year pay cap and pensions cap for public sector workers, announced in the pre-Budget report, general secretary Dave Prentis said: “I am not going to sign up to this. I know how our members feel - they feel angry and betrayed.

“It is just not on to make nurses, social workers, dinner ladies, cleaners and hospital porters pay the price for the folly of the bankers.”

He added: “We have no idea what inflation will be like in 2011 and beyond. Nor do we know what the future price will be of essentials such as food and fuel. We are on the same side of the street as our members and I won’t let them see their living standards eroded.

“Capping pension contributions will reduce the already small public sector pensions even further. The average pension in local government is just £4,000 a year and less than £2,000 for women. This predicted £1bn savings could end up being paid out as benefits to those very same workers to keep them out of poverty in retirement.”