MK Labour slams unfunded public sector pay offer as “big cuts con”
MK Labour have today slammed a Government pay increase to hard working public sector employees as “big cuts con” after the pay award was revealed to have been agreed with no extra funding – meaning schools, the NHS, the armed forces, the police and prisons will all have to make additional cuts from existing budgets to fund the pay increase.
After nearly a decade of below inflation pay rises, the Government announced today that around 1m public sector workers will receive a pay increase of between 2% and 3% including a 2.75% increase from teachers, 2.5% for NHS consultants, 2.5% for rank and file police officers and 2.2% for prison officers. The move has been billed as an attempt by outgoing Prime Minster Theresa May to forge a legacy after her humiliation and failure in delivering a Brexit deal.
However at the same time as awarding the pay rise, Conservative Government Ministers said that funding for the pay rises would need to be met through existing budgets - no extra cash will be made available.
Now the Leader of Milton Keynes Council has challenged Mark Lancaster, Conservative MK North Member of Parliament, and Minister for the Armed Forces, to highlight which part of the military will be cut in order to pay for the pay rise to squaddies. He is also extending the challenge to both MK MPs to help schools, the police and the NHS out by publically making suggestions as to what services they should cut in order to meet the unfunded pay rise.
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of MK Council said: “After ten long years of below inflation pay rises, our public sector employees deserve a pay increase. However this unfunded offer is a big cuts con. There is no extra money to fund the increase in pay. It is right that our teachers, doctors, police officers, prison guards and our squaddies will get a pay increase, it is totally unacceptable that it will mean further cuts to schools, NHS and police services and our military to pay for it.
He continued: “The pay rise has only been offered as a pathetic attempt by the current Prime Minister, in her last days in office, to be remembered for something other than her shambolic failures over Brexit. However the woman who be remembered for the “go home” vans, her failure on the Grenfell Fire, and setting the hostile environment that deported members of the Windrush Generation has one more card to play. Cuts to schools, the NHS, our police, prisons and the military to pay for her unfunded pay-rise.
He concluded: “So I issue a challenge to Conservative Mark Lancaster MP, who is currently Minister for the Armed Forces. What cuts will he be proposing in the military to offset the much deserved pay increase for our squaddies? I also call on both Conservative Members of Parliament to make suggestions to our under pressure head teachers, NHS managers and the police on what they should cut to balance the books. Alternatively they could do the right thing, show they have no confidence in Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister, allow a General Election and then we can have two Labour MPs in Milton Keynes who can fight for properly funded public services.”
Mark Lancaster responded '' "In addition to the extra £1.8 billion secured last year from Treasury, under this Government, Defence Spending has and will continue to rise by 0.5% above inflation each year. By 2021 it will have risen to £40 Billion. The pay increase for our Armed Forces is based on the recommendations by the Independent Armed Forces Pay Review Body and funded within the rising Defence budget. To be honest, I have enormous respect for Pete Marland and am rather surprised that he has succumbed to regurgitating this nonsense from the Labour Party Central Office. Whilst I’m sure he supports our Armed Forces, he would do better to focus on distancing himself from his leader Jeremy Corbyn who has shown nothing but disdain for our Armed Forces."