By politics.co.uk staff
Alistair Darling has called for a freeze on the pay of senior public servants, including GPs and judges.
Senior NHS managers will also have their pay frozen, while around 700,000 middle-ranking public sector workers, such as doctors, dentists and prison officers, will receive a pay rise of between zero and one per cent.
Unions reacted with predictable anger to the news, but the Tories were especially bitter.
The suggestion around Manchester, where the Conservative party is holding its conference this week, was that the chancellor had announced the decision to steal the limelight from the opposition.
Similar accusations were made two years ago when the prime minister visited troops in Afghanistan at the same time as the Conservative conference.