Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, has called on the Chancellor to rethink his drive for austerity following new analysis by Labour which reveals that the Government will hit all of our NHS heroes with a real-terms pay cut this year, as well as other key workers who have kept the country going throughout the pandemic.
Figures show that at least 3,100 public sector workers in the Ladywood constituency will be hit by this decision. This includes nurses, teachers, police officers and Armed Forces personnel on the front line of the battle against Covid-19.
On Thursday the Government revealed that they intend to cut the pay of all NHS staff relative to inflation this year. This is in spite of the fact that in 2020 Conservative MPs budgeted and voted for a 2.1% pay increase and this is written in law.
This comes after the Chancellor announced a ‘pay freeze’ for all other public sector workers earning above £24,000 in 2021-22. 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 over £18,000 will also get a real-terms pay cut.
In Birmingham Ladywood, this means 1,895 teachers will see their pay cut, as well as 11,625 police officers in the West Midlands police force and over 90% of the 7,650 Armed Forces personnel based in the West Midlands.
Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said:
“It is an utter disgrace that one minute the Chancellor is standing on the steps of Downing Street clapping our carers in the NHS and the next he is slapping them in the face with a real-terms pay cut. The efforts our NHS workers have put in to keep us safe throughout this pandemic is second to none and many have made the ultimate sacrifice for us; they must be properly reimbursed for their dedication.
“This goes much further than our NHS employees. The public sector has been neglected for too long and this action shows once again that austerity is undermining our ability to fund our key workers. To see these figures demonstrating that 90% of our 7,650 Armed Forces personnel will see a pay cut next year is downright hurtful and flies in the face of our duty of care for those standing up for our country.
“If we are to make our country fit for the world post-coronavirus we must have a healthy public sector. For if we allow it to be underinvested in for much longer the cracks will turn into fissures that divide our country and stop us truly levelling up our communities.”