Labour plans to table an amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for an end to the public sector pay cap.
Five million public sector workers, such as nurses and firefighters, have seen their pay decline in real terms for the last seven years, after a pay freeze between 2010 and 2013 and a below inflation 1% cap on pay rises since.
Jeremy Corbyn says the amendment, which will be voted on later today, will “test” the resolve of MPs to put an end to the years of austerity imposed by successive Conservative governments. The Labour leader argues that the police, firefighters, nurses, and doctors deserve a pay rise for their brave reactions to the recent spate of terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower blaze.
Corbyn will also call on the government to invest in the emergency services and recruit more police officers and firefighters.
The Tories had planned to maintain the pay cap until at least 2020, but have faced calls to change the policy after a disastrous election campaign that saw Theresa May lose her majority.
May had previously told nurses that there was “no magic money tree” for their pay rise, but after finding £1bn to bribe Northern Irish DUP MPs to prop up a Tory government with a confidence and supply deal, she has been forced to reconsider her plans.