JULIE ELLIOTT: Government must look again at public sector pay freeze
This pandemic has really shown the incredible work done by so many in our public sector.
Our NHS staff have kept this country going, from the incredible care shown towards patients, saving lives on a daily basis, to the support they provide to families and loves ones.
Our teachers have been doing their utmost, adapting to working from home, delivering the best education to our young people that they can. Of course many have been working from their classrooms, in extraordinary circumstances.
Our Police Officers and our Fire services have been keeping us safe, and public sector workers across a range of different services have been working incredibly hard to keep this country going.
They do this work week in, week out, year on year. 2020 has not been special in that respect, but it is true to say that the work they do has been truly highlighted, due to the incredible stresses and changes that they have faced.
This is why it is all the more shocking that the Government plans to freeze the pay of so many of our public sector workers.
Back in March, when we were on our doorsteps clapping the sacrifices made by those in our public services to keep us safe and healthy, little did we know that the Government would then make them pay for the crisis too, by freezing many of their pay packets, some months later.
This is a Government that is handing multi-million pound contracts to its friends, with little scrutiny, often paying millions for PPE that was not even useable.
It is a government that is more than happy to fund half of our meals in the summer, but for a period of time, refused to fund our children’s school meals in the winter.
It is a government that is ploughing billions into a track and trace system that is not working.
It is a government whose priorities are wrong.
They simply must look again at its public sector pay freeze.
We should not be making those who bore the greatest burden, pay the greatest amount. It is not fair, and it is wrong.