#ScrapTheCap, No More Austerity!

Last Thursday the Tory/DUP coalition of chaos voted together to oppose Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to reverse the long-running freeze on public sector pay. The seven local Tories who disgraced themselves in their latest attack on workers included:

  • Edward Argar (Conservative – Charnwood)
  • Andrew Bridgen (Conservative – North West Leicestershire)
  • Alberto Costa (Conservative – South Leicestershire)
  • Sir Alan Duncan (Conservative – Rutland and Melton)
  • Nicky Morgan (Conservative – Loughborough)
  • Neil O’Brien (Conservative – Harborough)
  • David Tredinnick (Conservative – Bosworth)

The day before this sickening vote took place two East Midlands council members of the Royal College of Nursing, Gill Cort and Dave Miller, had a letter published in the Leicester Mercury (June 28) which noted…

“we now find ourselves in a situation that can no longer be tolerated. Since 2010, pay freezes and the 1 per cent cap on public sector pay awards have left NHS nursing staff at least £3,000 worse off, with salaries having been cut by 14 per cent in real terms. The pay cap not only leaves nurses struggling financially, but is also fuelling a shortage of nurses that could and should have been avoided.”

They pointed out how a recent survey undertaken by the Royal College of Nursing “shows that nine out of 10 of our members would support industrial action if the pay cap is not lifted.” Gill and Dave therefore called upon the public to “support our campaign and join our call for the Government to #scrapthecap so we can continue to be there for the patients who need us now and in the future.”

Needless to say the Tories and the DUP ignored these calls for sanity.

On Saturday (July 1), another Mercury letter-writer, Maggie Tedd, explained:

“I write as a constituent of Harborough MP Neil O’Brien to express my disappointment at his failure to support our emergency services and other essential public sector workers by voting against the Labour amendment to end cuts to these services and to end the pay freeze.”

She then drew attention to “the recent acts of murderous terrorism and the disaster of Grenfell Tower” and noted how Mr O’Brien failed to show that “he understands the value of, and need for,” public sector workers employed in our hospitals, police and fire stations. By showing his unwillingness to back these heroic workers Maggie said, her MP “has made a contribution to the continued decline of essential services, placing us all at greater risk.” The Tories really are a true shower of shites.


Finally, in the same newspaper, an article titled “Police hit out at pay vote defeat” (Mercury, July 1) quoted Leicestershire Police Federation chair, Tiff Lynch, as saying:

“We have heard much praise for police officers and other emergency workers responding to the dreadful atrocities of the last few months. But those words are hollow if nothing is put in place to ease the pressures the police service and those other vital services are currently facing.

“The Government says it does not have the money to give officers a meaningful pay rise or increase police funding which would enable forces to increase officer numbers. Yet it managed to shake the money tree very successfully when it needed to find £1 billion to secure support from the DUP.”

As Tiff went on to explain in the Police Federation’s full press release:

“the failure to back [Labour’s] amendment… felt like a slap in a face for police officers and other public sector workers. To add insult to injury, it was made worse by some MPs acting like a pack of heckling hyenas and cheering as the amendment was defeated…

“We have repeatedly been told we can do more with less, in effect, but when the Government found itself with fewer MPs than it expected after the election it was able to throw £1 billion into the pot to bolster its own numbers. Let’s also not forget that while public sector workers were told the Government could only afford to give them a maximum pay rise of one per cent MPs themselves received a 10 per cent pay rise.”

Now is the time for another General Election.

The Tories, after voting just last week to continue pushing through public sector austerity, are now busy arguing amongst themselves as to whether austerity is actually necessary?! This nonsense cannot continue… the Tories need to go!

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