Prospect General Secretary Paul Noon said: "Today's announcement is much worse than simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.
"The government wants to punish civil servants for years to come in order to pay for short-term fixes that are just too little and too late. What purpose is there to wreaking yet more destruction in already hard-hit public services for the sake of mitigating the impact of other cuts that the government was responsible for in the first place?
"Prospect specialists and professionals working in Government departments are already stretched to the limit. On top of tens of thousands of job losses, they have endured pay freezes, increased pension contributions, and a fresh bid to worsen their terms and conditions. Yet again they will face a 1% pay cap even though their pension contributions are increasing by more than that.
"Increasing the squeeze on the specialist work our members do – in areas such as health and safety, animal health, heritage, climate science, defence and much more – will do nothing for the economy. It's the public who will pay the price when these services are damaged beyond repair."