Labour would not give nurses, police officers and teachers a real-term pay rise if it was in Government, Shadow Cabinet Minister Dawn Butler confirmed today.
The Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary revealed that while the party would scrap the Tories’ 1% pay cap on public sector employees, it would not give those workers an above-inflation salary increase.
Earlier this week, Theresa May confirmed police and prison officers would get an above 1% pay rise – but the increases would be lower than the current inflation level of 2.9%.
Labour wants to scrap the cap and hand over decisions on public sector pay to independent review bodies – something which could cost an extra £9billion a year according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.
However, Labour has set aside just £4billion to give workers an increase in-line with inflation.
Speaking on Sky News’s Sunday with Paterson show, Butler conceded Labour only planned to scrap the cap, not offer a real-terms pay increase.
She said: “We are not talking about an above-inflation pay rise.”
When pressed by host Niall Paterson on how this policy was any different to the Government’s – who have already pledged to scrap the cap – Butler replied: “What they could do is give public sector workers an inflation pay rise.
“That’s what they could do now if they had the political will to do it and they’re choosing not to do it. That’s the issue here.”
During the interview, Butler repeatedly described Labour as a “government-in-waiting” as she lambasted the Tories for their treatment of public sector workers.
When pressed on Labour’s plans, she replied: “When we’ve got the books in front of us we will then be able to decipher what else we’d be able to deliver for public sector workers but we need to see the figures and the books but at the moment we’re not in government, we’re the government-in-waiting.”
Responding, Conservative MP Mims Davies said: “Labour spent their election campaign promising the country things they simply couldn’t afford and they’re doing the same thing again.
“Just as with their broken promise to graduates, this shows Labour make promises on the campaign trail that they just cannot deliver.
“Only the Conservatives have the balanced approach our economy needs, dealing with our debts and investing in public services.”