End the public sector pay cap or wear a tie

 In a bid to lessen the austerity measures which the Conservative government are due to continue, Labour proposed an amendment of regret to the Queen’s Speech asking for a fair pay rise for public sector workers.  The Queen’s Speech, actually written fully by the Conservatives sets out the plan for their next tenure of government.  This amendment however gave the opportunity to end a move which has negatively impacted on so many who provide vital services.

Nurses and fire, ambulance and police staff are amongst the millions of public sector workers who have had their pay frozen at a capped annual 1% pay rise since its implementation 7 years ago.  There have been reports that some essential workers have had to use food banks in order to survive.  When directly questioned by an NHS worker, Theresa May said “there’s no Magic Money tree”.  With the cost of living having increased during this time, public sector pay has effectively been cut with workers earning the same as they did all those years ago.

This motion to end the pay cap was voted down by 323 votes to 309.

The vote was close.  It would have been even closer if the Tories didn’t have the guaranteed backing of the DUP.  Just a few days ago, it was announced the DUP agreed to enter a pact with the Tories secured by £1,000,000,000 – that’s £1 billion of extra cash.  Where did this money come from?  Ahhh.  The Magic Money tree.

I regret that my own Member of Parliament, Peter Bone, was amongst those who voted down the motion.  This was an important decision.  The livelihoods of those public sector workers is continuing to get worse as the cost of living continues to rise but pay packets do not do the same.  Bone voted this was, and although I cannot confirm, I imagine was amongst those on that side of the house who cheered in jubilation at the result.

Today, he importantly stood up in the House of Commons to ask the Speaker an incredibly vital question.  Think of the magnitude of the vote yesterday, and then think that his question was about a male Member of Parliament the day previously having had asked a question without wearing a tie and wonderedwhether the rules had changed.



Samuel x

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