View from the House: Pay freeze is despicable

MP Apsana Begum says that the chancellor's Spending Review will spread Covid.

MP Apsana Begum says that the chancellor's Spending Review will spread Covid. - Credit: PA

The Spending Review last week is extremely worrying for many.

The chancellor’s freezing the public sector pay cap is estimated to affect at least 1.3 million people. Public sector workers were some of the most important during the pandemic, and for them to now face a pay freeze is despicable. The health secretary has professed not to understand why ill people continue to travel to work. The simple answer to this is that the current rate of statutory sick pay is too low. £95.85 per week is equivalent to roughly nine hours work at London Living Wage (£10.85).

“Fire and rehire” tactics are still being used to cut wages during the pandemic, with no government action against them.

Moreover, the decisions taken in the Spending Review will affect the spread of coronavirus. With less economic security, fewer will be able to afford to self-isolate and be forced to work when ill.


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