Despite claims this morning that the Government were preparing to lift the Public Sector Pay Cap, the Conservative minority Government and friends in the DUP voted down Labour’s amendment that would have given nurses, police and fire service workers a much needed pay rise.
Following the heroic response of the emergency services to the recent terrorist attacks and to the Grenfell Tower Fire; Labour today called on the government to give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise. In an amendment to the government’s programme for the next two years, Labour also called on the government to recruit more police officers and firefighters and to properly invest in our public services.
Initially it appeared that the Government were due to back the Labour ammendment, but Downing Street rapidly made a U-turn, insisting that the policy of limiting annual rises to 1% would remain in place. Government ministers cheered the decision that will leave public sector workers worse off as their pay stagnates despite rising inflation. On current trends, the average pay of public sector workers will be £1,700 lower in 2020 than its peak in 2010.
Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:
“The British people denied Theresa May a majority in the general election. The Conservatives have no mandate to carry out their damaging cuts to vital public services and attacks on the British people. They have already been forced to drop some of their most damaging policies, such as taking Winter Fuel Payments away from more than 10 million pensioners or removing the Triple Lock guarantee on pensions.
“It appeared that the dramatic increase in Labour’s vote at the general election and the strength of feeling among the British people would force the Government to U-turn and stop cutting public sector workers’ pay.
“However once again they have decided to put their own party interests above the interests of the country.”
Following the £1billion give away to the DUP, many MPs in all parties urged for the Government to consider investing not only in preserving their place in number 10, but to invest in those public sector workers who have provided a vital role in the past weeks and will continue to do so.
Despite a number of Conservative members of parliament including Heidi Allen, Dan Poulter and the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon, supporting a review into the pay cap – unfortunately party loyalty was put before the interests of the country.
“Labour will continue to fight to put an end to this unfair pay cap”, added Gwynne. “No longer can we live in a country that considers it fair for nurses to use food banks”