Live Streams

MONDAY
7pm Geoffrey Dunstan
9pm Available Slot

TUESDAY
7pm Available Slot
9pm Delroy Henry

WEDNESDAY
6pm Anne Marie Waters
7pm The UK Freedom Alliance
9pm Jeremy Poole

THURSDAY
7pm Sandy Smith
9pm Dave Witcher

FRIDAY
7pm Jacqui Lowry
10pm Red Pill Movie Night

SATURDAY
6:30pm Shaun Morris
9pm Davey Russell

SUNDAY
12pm Katie-Jayne Swallow
7pm Alan Merritt
9pm Public Child Protection Wales

(Premium membership required)

A looming battle between the Government and the health unions? Welcome back, old normal.

Ministers are squaring up to one of the big public sector trades unions for a battle over pay. Like the first buds of Spring, this story feels like the politics of the ‘old normal’ might be coming back after the long pandemic winter.

Health unions are furious that the Government is proposing to give NHS workers just a one per cent pay increase. Is this fair?

On the one hand, Health Service workers have been on the front line in the fight against Covid-19, with some putting in traumatic shifts on high-mortality wards during the worst phase of the crisis.

Critics have also pointed out that the decision sits very badly alongside last year’s decision to award teachers “the biggest pay rise in fifteen years“, even as the education unions fought tooth and nail against efforts to get children back to school. And speaking of holes dug in 2020:

Likewise, the Chancellor’s decision to turn on the taps to see Britain through the pandemic has some people asking: why not just add a pay bump for NHS workers to the bill?

But as our editor has previously explored, there is another side to the story of the last twelve months. Furlough may have spared millions from unemployment, but it still represented a 20 per cent income cut – and it fell exclusively on the private sector. Moreover a pay rise, unlike a one-off bounty of the sort offered by the Scottish Government, would be a permanent increase in public expenditure and couldn’t be written off as a one-off exceptional expense.

Sunak might consider copying Nicola Sturgeon’s policy instead, but the First Minister was heavily criticised for a policy which gave as much to the best-off NHS staff as front-line workers.

Given that, and in light of Rishi Sunak’s apparent determination to start getting the public finances in order at some point in this Parliament (at least, probably this Parliament), there is a strong case for focusing public expenditure on areas which will best facilitate private-sector growth and support those who have been unable to work during the pandemic, especially young people who have stalled at the very start of their careers.

(There’s no salvaging the optics of the parallel pay rise for teachers, though. Just evidence of the woeful state of the Conservatives’ battle against the Blob.)

Even without substantial pay increases, health is going to consume more and more public spending in the years ahead. Absent a big shift in public attitudes towards paying much higher taxes in perpetuity, at some point the Government is going to have to confront the hard business of NHS and social care reform. Will the Party’s new, post-2019 positioning make that harder? Or will all the spending have given ministers some credit they can spend on driving change without being immediately seen as the ‘same old Tories’?

0 Comments

Get involved!

Get Connected!
Come and join the conscious community and get to know new people!

Comments

No comments yet

Upgrade to Premium Membership

For just £3 a month you can upgrade to Premium Membership. You’ll get access to our daily live streams and the archive of previous live streams. The cost of providing this social network is 100% funded by the Premium membership fees we receive.

Standard members click here to upgrade to premium membership

Show your support

The monthly cost of providing this social network is 100% funded by the community that use it. Please consider an affordable donation to show your support.

Donate

Latest Community Photos

Latest Community Media

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This