British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Monday ordered a freeze in ministerial pay this year in solidarity with millions of Britons who are struggling with the recession, media reports say. Those of them who are MPs will also forego the GBP 1,500 rise, Downing Street said.

The order comes ahead of the government's response Tuesday to a slew of recommendations for public sector pay increases.

Ministers will not have a pay rise, their pay has been frozen this year. That's the right thing to do, Brown told reporters. His spokesman said that the Prime Minister does feel that at this time when many families and businesses are facing difficult times economically, it is important that Government ministers take a lead.

That is why, in consultation with his Cabinet colleagues, this has been announced today. The spokesman said that all Cabinet ministers who were consulted on the freeze agreed to it on behalf of themselves and their departmental colleagues.

Earlier, the body regulating parliamentary pay announced that lawmakers would receive a pay rise of 2.33 percent from April, increasing their annual salaries from GBP 63,291 to GBP 64,766 (USD 92,000 dollars, EUR 70,000).

The government's preferred measure of the annual inflation rate, the Retail Prices Index (RPI), was flat in February.

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