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Labour claim key workers are to be hit with 'real-terms' pay cut

Labour claim key workers are to be hit with 'real-terms' pay cut

by Henry James (December 2020)

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak will hit every key worker earning more than £18,000 in England with a real-terms pay cut next year, new analysis by Labour has revealed.

This includes?more than 130,000?key workers in the?North West?region – the teachers, police officers and Armed Forces personnel on the front line of the battle against Covid-19.

At the Spending Review on November 25, the Chancellor announced a ‘pay freeze’ for all public sector workers earning above £24,000 in 2021-22.

NHS workers weren’t included, while those earning less than £24,000 were promised “a fixed increase of £250”.

Taking into account inflation over the next fiscal year, that means every?non-NHS?public sector worker earning more than £18,000 will actually get a real-terms?pay cut.

In?the North West, this includes:

· 17,000?police officers

· 66,000?teachers

· 45,000?civil servants, including tax inspectors, prison officers and probation officers 

· 1,840?members of the Armed Forces

That’s a pay cut for every police officer in England, all 501,000 teachers in English state-funded schools and over 90% of the Armed Forces personnel based in England. 

On top of the pay freeze, the Spending Review also contained a one-billion-pound council tax bombshell hidden in the small print and a cut to Universal Credit that will hit those who can least afford it.

Labour has condemned this triple hammer blow to people’s pockets as totally irresponsible when the economy is so fragile.

Making people worried about making ends meet will pull spending out of local high streets and small businesses, damaging consumer confidence at the very moment the Government should be building it up.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said: “We clapped and cheered all our front-line key workers during this pandemic but when it comes to genuine appreciation and paying workers a decent wage the Chancellor has decided to freeze their pay.

“Our teachers, police, armed forces and civil servants including prison officers deserve better than this.”

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: “Key workers kept our country going this year, but the Chancellor has rewarded over a million of them with a real-terms pay cut.

“It’s totally irresponsible to hit workers in their pockets when the economy is so weak, but the least the Chancellor can do is be upfront about it.

“Instead, he’s trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the police officers, teachers and Armed Forces personnel who’ve kept the country going during this pandemic.

“They shouldn’t have to carry the can for this Government’s mistakes.”

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