The Liberal Democrats say they will end the 1% cap on public sector pay rises by increasing wages in line with inflation, if they win the election.
The party said details of how the “carefully costed” plans would be paid for would be set out in its general election manifesto.
It said the policy would give the average public sector worker a pay rise of £779.
But the Conservatives said only they could deliver “strong public services”.
Under Tory government policy, a 1% pay cap for public sector workers is in place in a bid to “protect jobs and repair the finances”.
Labour’s leaked draft manifesto included plans to end the cap, and the Lib Dems said they would bring an end to “years of pitiful increases” by increasing wages in line with the Consumer Price Index, which was 2.3%, according to the latest figures.
“Our NHS and schools are already struggling to recruit the staff they need,” said former Business Secretary Vince Cable.
“A better future is available. We will stand up for our schools and hospitals and give hard-working nurses, teachers and police the pay rise they deserve.”