Evesham's MP explains why he voted to keep public sector pay cap - The Evesham Observer

Evesham's MP explains why he voted to keep public sector pay cap

Evesham Editorial 3rd Jul, 2017   0

EVESHAM’S MP Nigel Huddleston has defended his decision to vote against the Labour amendment to scrap the public sector pay cap by claiming it was ‘not a practical piece of legislation.’

‘It was a party political’ move by Labour the Mid-Worcestershire MP said following the vote last Wednesday which saw him and his Conservative colleagues, plus the DUP, vote down Labour’s attempt to scrap the one per cent cap.

Although pay for the millions of workers in the public sector is set by independent pay review bodies, the Government introduced the one per cent cap back in 2013. And, before that there was a two year freeze on pay for all but the lowest paid workers.

Following the vote, the Government has signalled public sector pay rises could be reviewed after pressure from a number of backbench Conservative MPs.

This includes Mr Huddleston who, despite voting against the amendment, told the Observer he’s ‘not against the idea’ of lifting the cap.

“The wish to pay our emergency services and public sector workers more is prevalent on both sides of the House of Commons,” he said.

“I hope we will be able to do so within a reasonable timeframe. But, pay restraint exists because the public finances are tight.

“The most appropriate channel through which to legislate for changes in government spending and public sector workers pay is the budget, and I will myself be lobbying for further increases in public spending, particularly for health, education and our security services in advance of the budget.

“The Government is following the advice of an independent committee in maintaining a public sector pay cap but is seriously looking into ways a more generous pay package could be sustainably implemented in the future.

“Voting through a vaguely worded opposition amendment is not the way to go about achieving this; building a strong economic case that can be formalised through the budget is.”

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