I am disappointed that key public sector workers are facing a pay freeze. It’s clear the Conservatives haven’t departed with their philosophy of neglecting public services and working families. The Chancellor announced that pay will be frozen for public sector workers outside the NHS who earn more than £24,000 per annum, as well as limited pay rises for those on less than this. Teachers, firefighters, police officers, and local authority officers have been part of the national efforts that have carried us through this pandemic, and they deserve fair pay. At least 90% of police officers, 75-80% of teachers, and 80% of fire service officers will be affected. This amounts to a real term pay cut, and on teachers’ pay specifically this plan undermines a Conservative Party manifesto promise.
The Conservatives froze public sector pay for seven years, and the subsequent rises have not been enough to bring public sector wages up to meet the increasing cost of living in this country. The stories of teachers using food banks over the last few years are deeply troubling and should not be happening in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. I strongly oppose this pay freeze.