This article illustrates the dilemma that councils face. They are dammed if they do and dammed if they don't. It's perfectly valid for government, especially in times of crisis (and when the cap was imposed most LG funding came from General Taxation) to impose a public sector pay cap. Lifting the 1% cap and intimating that a 2% rise or more is justifiable surely needs to be supported by funding, otherwise the cap shouldn't have been uplifted.
LG is in a very different place to 2012 both in salary comparisons and numbers. It would have been honest for Government to say 2% and any funding above that had to be paid for locally. Its disengeneous to lift the cap and then pass the buck straight to LG.
Tories warn 2% pay offer could lead to job cuts 8 December, 2017 By Jon Bunn Comment Conservative council leaders have warned that the 2% pay offer to most staff could force further cuts to jobs and services. Tory members of negotiating body National Employers voted against breaking the current 1% pay cap but the 2% offer backed by Labour and an independent was approved by the casting vote of the chair, Luton BC deputy leader Sian Timoney (Lab). Speaking at a meeting of the Local Government Association’s executive yesterday, Conservative group leader David Simmonds suggested the Conservatives may have supported a pay offer above 1% if funding was guaranteed.