Row erupts over public pay
A political row has broken out after Rutherglen and Hamilton West’s new MP accused the UK and Scottish governments of letting down public sector workers.
Gerard Killen MP said both the SNP and Conservatives had imposed a one per cent pay freeze on the public sector.
But the area’s SNP MSP, Clare Haughey, says the Scottish Government is committed to ending the pay freeze next year.
Mr Killen said: “The Tories and the SNP have appalling records on public sector workers.
“At a UK level the Tories have pushed austerity through pay cuts and in Scotland the SNP in Edinburgh have frozen NHS workers’ pay for a decade.
“Only Labour will work for the many not the few, by scrapping the pay cap in Scotland and introducing a real living wage for the whole of the UK.”
However, Ms Haughey insisted the Scottish Government’s pay policy was fair and supported those on lowest incomes.
She added: “Contrary to Mr Killen’s assertions, the SNP Government has already committed to ending the one per cent pay cap in 2018/19 and in future years.
“The finance secretary, Derek McKay, has called on the UK Government to follow suit but, so far, there has been no commitment from the Tories to do so.
“Mr Killen promises that Labour will do something that the SNP Government is already doing in Scotland. In Wales, meantime, where Labour are in Government, they have, like the Tories at Westminster, refused to commit to lifting the pay cap.”
The issue was raised at prime minister’s questions last week.
Responding to criticism from Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May said: “The right hon. gentleman seems to think it is possible to go around promising people more money and promising that nobody is ever going to have to pay for it.
“He and I both value public sector workers. We both value our public sector services. The difference is that on this side of the house we know that you have to pay for them.”