Following the Chancellor’s announcement on freezing pay for all but NHS workers, Rachael Maskell has today written to the Chancellor, Rushi Sunak, to ask him to reconsider his decision to cut the pay, in real terms, of hard working public sector staff. While it is right that NHS staff should receive a pay uplift, something the MP for York Central called for earlier this year, the pay of local government, job centre, police and probation officers, soldiers, university and teaching staff should also rise. Many social care staff do very similar jobs to NHS staff, however the Chancellor failed to recognise them for putting themselves at risk as they supported the most vulnerable people in the city this year.
This came on the back of the announcement that the economy fell by 11.3% this year, the biggest fall in nearly 300 years. With people having less disposable income, this will mean that they spend less in the local economy, leading to an even deeper recession.
Average earnings in the public sector in the first quarter of this year were 1.5% lower than they were 10 years ago. This is in addition to crises of recruitment and retention across large parts of the public sector, with an IFS report highlighting that public sector workers in some areas of the country already earning less than their counterparts in the private sector.
“I have had the privilege of talking to people who have been working throughout this pandemic and know that many have worked significant periods of overtime, often unpaid, to support York during this pandemic. Now they are being told that they have to make further sacrifices and receive a real terms cut to their pay.
“Care staff who deliver outsourced services on behalf of the local authority, were not even mentioned in the Chancellor’s statement, nor recognition given to all public sector workers who have helped our nation get through the most challenging period for a generation. With the cost of living exceeding the incomes of many families, many more public sector workers will now struggle to pay their bills.”