Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham has slammed the Chancellor’s plans to hit every 4,300 key worker earning over £18,000 in Stockton North with a real-term pay cut this year.
With Stockton South included, the number of key workers – the teachers, police officers and Armed Forces personnel on the front line of the battle against Covid-19 – hit by the cut reaches 11,000.
In November’s Spending Review on 25 November, 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”. Considering inflation over the next fiscal year, that means every non-NHS public sector worker earning over £18,000 will get a real-terms pay cut.
In Stockton North this means 720 teachers – 1,789 in Stockton-on-Tees Borough – will see their pay cut, as well as 5691 police officers and over 90% of the 1070 Armed Forces personnel based in the North East.
Key workers have kept our country going throughout this crisis, but now the Chancellor wants to give over a million of them with a real-terms pay cut.
Not only is that poor reward for their hard work, it’s economically irresponsible. If families have less money to spend, then businesses will suffer, and the recovery will take longer.
The Chancellor must think again. He needs to cancel plans to cut Universal Credit and give our key workers the pay the deserve. They shouldn’t have to carry the can for his Government’s mistakes.
- Notes: When CPI inflation at 1.4% in 2021-22 is taken into account, a fixed increase of £250 means that every public sector worker in England earning over £17,857 will actually receive a real-terms pay cut.