Row erupts over public pay

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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.”

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