I believe that front line public sector workers should receive a pay rise, not least because of their essential work during the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, they have been in harm’s way, protecting and serving the country.
Despite this, the majority of public sector workers will face a pay freeze next year, with two exceptions. The Government has promised:
- To provide a pay rise to over a million nurses, doctors and other NHS workers.
- That the 2.1 million public sector workers who earn below the median wage of £24,000, will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250.
However, the vagueness of the first promise is already causing concern for NHS workers. In his spending review, the Chancellor did not say when this long overdue pay rise would be enacted and how much it would include.
Subsequently, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has said that the NHS Pay Review Body is not expected to submit its report to the Government until May. This will then be “carefully considered” by the Government before it announces its decision.
It could be summer before the over one million nurses, doctors and NHS workers actually see any extra money, long after some other NHS workers were given a pay rise in July 2020 because of their efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
Ultimately, I don’t think that the Government is properly compensating frontline public sector workers, whose vital work has kept the country going and saved lives.
This issue is a priority for these workers, and the country, and I can assure you that my Opposition colleagues and I will continue to press the Government to properly pay our frontline public sector workers.