Bill Esterson Member of Parliament for Sefton Central
New analysis by Labour reveals that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will hit all of our NHS heroes with a real-terms pay cut this year, as well as other key workers who have kept the country going throughout the pandemic.
This includes at least 15,200 key workers in both Sefton Central and Southport – the nurses, teachers, police officers and Armed Forces personnel on the front line of the battle against Covid-19. This equates to 7,100 in Sefton Central, and 8,100 in Southport.
On Thursday, the Government revealed that they intend to cut the pay of all NHS staff relative to inflation this year.
This comes after the Chancellor announced a ‘pay freeze’ for all other public sector workers earning above £24,000 in 2021-22. Those earning less than £24,000 were promised “a fixed increase of £250”.
Taking into account inflation over the next fiscal year, that means every non-NHS public sector worker earning over £18,000 will also get a real-terms pay cut.
In Sefton Central, this means 967 teachers will see their pay cut, and 664 teachers in Southport, as well as 17,005 police officers and over 90% of the 1,840 Armed Forces personnel based in the North West.
On top of the pay freeze, the Budget also confirmed a one-billion-pound council tax bombshell and a cut to Universal Credit in six months that will hit those who can least afford it.
Labour has condemned this triple hammer blow to people’s pockets as totally irresponsible when the economy is so fragile and is calling on the government to scrap its plans to hit family finances.
Making people worried about making ends meet will pull spending out of local high streets and small businesses, damaging consumer confidence at the very moment the Government should be building it up.
Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, said:
“It is an outrage that the Conservatives are slapping our Covid-19 key worker heroes with a real-terms pay cut, despite all their hard work keeping our country going throughout this pandemic. Nurses will be more than £5.00 a week worse off in real terms after tax rises and inflation.
“Not only that, but it’s economically illiterate. If families have less money to spend, then businesses will suffer and the recovery will take longer when people have less money to buy goods and services.
“The Conservatives have paid billions for unusable PPE from their friends and Tory Party donors. They have also spent a whopping £37 billion on outsourced test and trace which is still failing. Now they want to cut Universal Credit, hike council tax and cut pay for nurses, police officers and teachers.
“The Conservative MP in Southport should tell his Chancellor to reverse plans to cut Universal Credit, hike council tax and cut pay for nurses, police officers and teachers.”
Notes to Editors
- At the Spending Review on 25 November 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a “pause” to pay rises in the public sector for all those earning above the median wage of £24,000, excepting “nurses, doctors and other workers in the NHS”. He claimed that the 2.1 million public sector workers earning below that amount would be guaranteed a pay rise of “at least £250”.
Hansard, 25 November 2020, Col. 828, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-11-25/debates/6437F778-628F-48A1-ADF3-C06BA1C09EBA/SpendingReview2020AndOBRForecast#
- Following that statement, the Labour Member of Parliament for Pontefract and Castleford Yvette Cooper asked the Chancellor to “guarantee that the 2.1 million public sector workers he referred to will not face a real-terms pay cut next year”. The Chancellor replied:
“It will depend on each worker’s exact salary, but there will be a fixed increase of £250 for all of those 2 million workers.”
Hansard, 25 November 2020, Col. 857, https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-11-25/debates/6437F778-628F-48A1-ADF3-C06BA1C09EBA/SpendingReview2020AndOBRForecast#
- When CPI inflation at 1.4% in 2021-22 is taken into account, a fixed increase of £250 means that every public sector worker in England earning over £17,857 will actually receive a real-terms pay cut.
- In a response to a written parliamentary question, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay confirmed that those earning less than £18,000 on a full-time equivalent basis will receive a pay award above inflation: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-03/124792