By Francesca James

Commenting on the prediction from the Office for Budget Responsibility on Wednesday that a million public sector jobs will have disappeared by 2018, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'The Chancellor's economic medicine isn't working, but that hasn't deterred him from continuing a course of action which is dragging the economy down and piling on the misery for families across the UK.

'Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers have already lost their jobs as local authorities, government departments and hospitals have been forced to slash their spending. Now it seems we've barely begun to suffer the pain and many more households will experience the despair and hopelessness of unemployment over the next few years.

'Ordinary families are being hammered by the biggest squeeze on their incomes in a generation as wages fail to keep up with prices and freezes and cuts to benefits make a huge dent in family finances.

'But for those with one or more family member working in the public sector - or who rely heavily on public services - the Chancellor's austerity drive promises a particularly bleak future.

'Millions of people already struggling to get by will now be living with the constant fear that it could soon be their job which is added to the hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs already axed.'