Chancellor Alistair Darling has recommended a pay freeze for 40,000 senior public servants
He has written to salary review bodies calling on them to freeze the pay of judges, senior NHS managers and GPs.
In addition, about 700,000 middle-ranking public servants – including dentists – will get a rise of between 0 and 1% and industry representatives are unhappy.
John Milne, chair of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee (GDPC), said: ‘We appreciate that a measure of financial restraint is necessary in the current economic climate. Clearly, economic prudence is essential for everyone.
‘However, it must be remembered that, almost uniquely in the NHS, dentists are personally responsible for providing premises, equipment and staff to provide vital healthcare to millions of people.
‘The costs of equipment and materials have also escalated, as they are largely manufactured overseas, and have been affected by changes in exchange rates.
‘It’s important that these increasing costs are met and that dentists are encouraged to maintain their NHS commitment.’
This proposal for 2010/11 is less than the current level of inflation which stands 1.8% and some assessed the pay offer as the toughest for 30 years.
Public sector representatives have criticised the Chancellor’s plan, but the government maintains that ‘tough, but realistic, decisions on pay’ were vital.