The government’s last-minute attempt to delay a court battle on public-sector pay may only compound uncertainty about its wider battle for financial stability and its ability to avert a debt crisis in coming years.

Though the immediate fiscal implications of the legal manoeuvre remain to be seen, economists said it points to difficulties ahead in the broader fight to achieve financial sustainability and rein in debt, a plan that hinges on limiting public sector wages and will be writ large in the next round of talks on increases from 2021...

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