Hitting wages of key workers would be ‘worst possible’ blow to economy

Government plans to hold down public-sector pay will cause a £142m blow to the South West’s economy, a TUC analysis shows today.

A total of £1.3bn will be cut from keyworker pay settlements in England this year, after the chancellor announced the squeeze in November 2020, causing a forecast £1.7bn hit to England’s economy between April 2021 and March 2022.

UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said:    

“Taking money from the pockets of ​employees at the heart of the pandemic response is ​nothing short of deplorable. ​It would also deliver the worst possible blow to the Covid-scarred economy.

“The Prime Minister claims he wants to boost the public sector workforce. Yet hitting wages is going to see more staff leaving not joining, especially in care where pay is at poverty levels.

“Job vacancies have proved devastating to the NHS and care sector. ​Without an urgent rethink on pay, the government ​risks losing experienced staff.

“Fair wages for key workers would help protect public services and deliver the required economic boost.”

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