The Conservative Government have this week announced their intentions to keep the pay cap on public sector workers, which has over the 7 year period the cap has been in place – led to a significant real wage decrease.
Since 2010, millions of public sector workers have endured a pay freeze and then a pay cap. The dedicated public servants who keep our services going have lost over 9% of their real wages, or will have done by 2020, with nurses set to lose 14% real wage. The Chancellor could have ended the public sector pay cap, as Labour have pledged to do, and given a pay rise to the 5 million dedicated public servants who we all rely on—day in, day out—in our hospitals, our health service in general and our local government.
The amendment to lift the pay cap was tabled by Labour during the Queens’s Speech debate, but was defeated by a Tory Government propped up by a DUP confidence and supply deal.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“It is wrong that our public sector workers have seen an effective wage decrease of 9% over the last 7 years. It’s about time they saw a rise in their wages and the Government had an opportunity to give them this last week.
“I was disgusted to see some Tory members cheering at the rejection of the amendment which would have ended this 7 year pay cap on the wages of our military, firefighters, police force, nurses, doctors and everybody else who works in the public sector. It shows the Tories’s deeply vested interests that differ from those of the hard working, general public, standing up for the few, not the many.
“At a time when the Government can find £1,000,000,000 for a deal with the DUP to prop themselves up, it is wrong that we have dedicated public servants who, year after year, are finding it increasingly difficult to put food on the table and keep on top of their finances.
“I call on this Tory Government to end the public sector pay cap and finally reflect on the wage suggestions put forward by independent pay review bodies”