Public sector workers’ wages, in real terms, are down thousands of pounds a year since 2010 as the result of Government pay restrictions. The trade union Prospect has highlighted that the average real terms pay cut has been 15%.
I know many of my constituents are living from pay cheque to pay cheque as a result. Nationally half a million children of public sector workers are in poverty.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that without a pay rise the public sector will “struggle to recruit and retain the workers it needs to deliver public services, and the quality of those services will, therefore, be at risk”. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has also provided research which shows that lifting the pay cap would bring higher tax receipts and lower welfare payments.
A genuine pay increase for public sector workers in our constituency and across the country is both fair and affordable.
While the Government has said it has removed the 1% limit the reality is it expects overstretched departments facing further cuts to find the funding.
At the General Election, the Labour manifesto pledged to lift the public sector pay cap. It also pledged a Minimum Wage of £10 per hour, so that work pays. However, Labour did not win the election. I can assure my constituents that I will continue to fight for fair pay for public sector workers.