Should the 1% pay cap be scrapped for those who work in the NHS?
The public are “weary” of austerity but the Government’s approach to the public sector pay cap has not changed, Chancellor Philip Hammond said last night. At the end of a long day of conflicting messages over a possible end to the public sector pay freeze, the Chancellor told the Confederation of British Industry President’s dinner that the Government remained committed to maintaining the balance between being fair to public servants and the taxpayers who fund their wages.
He said there had to be a “grown-up” debate about how to meet demands for improved public services, arguing that increasing economic growth or broad-based tax increases were the only ways to fund them.
Earlier yesterday, police minister Nick Hurd told the Commons there was an “active discussion” under way to ensure frontline workers are paid fairly, while Boris Johnson has also backed a wage boost for public sector staff.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has indicated that an end to the 1 per cent pay cap was possible, placing further pressure on the Chancellor, who is committed to bringing UK spending into line. Last night the Chancellor repeated his position, that further spending could only be paid for by tax rises.
Several Tory MPs have added to the pressure on Theresa May and Mr Hammond by calling for an end to the pay cap after the party lost its majority in the general election to the anti-austerity message from Labour, which pledged to scrap the 1 per cent ceiling.
What are your views? Has austerity lasted so long that it is damaging the NHS?