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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Labour hypocrisy on NHS pay

There is understandable and justifiable outrage at the offer of a 3% uplft in pay being made to health service workers today. This is especially so when the Treasury expects inflation to be 3.7%, leading to a cut in pay for an experienced nurse by over £200 in real terms.

As others have called for, there is a need for a pay review for all public sector workers who have kept Wales safe throughout the pandemic. But where do Labour stand on this issue?

As the Guardian reports, in England, they have attacked ministers’ “shoddy, ill-thought through” proposal and described it as another example of a government U-turn:

Justin Madders, the shadow health minister, said: “After their hypocrisy applauding NHS workers while trying to cut their pay, the government must make our NHS and key workers feel supported and valued after all they have done for us.”

Here in Wales though, Labour are in government and have offered precisely the same pay rise. Does the shadow health minister's comments in England also apply to his colleagues in Wales, as there does not appear to be much room for manoeuvre in his remarks?

Labour really cannot have their cake and eat it on this issue. If the pay rise is good enough for Wales then why is it not good enough for England, and vice versa. Perhaps both governments need to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more acceptable.
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