By Daniel Hunter

As the government prepare for the Budget later this month the largest civil service union is to unveil the result of a national ballot.

The results of the ballot could lead to walkouts at the time of the Budget. The Public and Commercial Service (PCS) Union is seeking a pay rise of £1,200, or 5%, this year.

Almost 250,000 civil servants were balloted in a row encompassing job losses, pay and pensions.

"Civil and public servants are working harder than ever to provide the services we all rely on," said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union.

"Yet instead of rewarding them, ministers have cut their pay and pensions and are now trying to rip up their basic working conditions.

"We have tried to reason with ministers but they continue to refuse to talk to us, so we're left with no choice but to take action."

The issue of pay could lead to industrial action elsewhere in the public sector.

The result of the PCS ballot on industrial action is expected on Monday afternoon. If members back industrial action, the union's national executive committee will then consider what form that might take.

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