Sunday, 27 November 2016

Margarine for the JAMs

Frances O'Grady writes:

Chancellor Philip Hammond has promised to deliver an economy that works for everyone.

Tell that to a midwife who will be £5,000 worse off by 2021.

Or to a home carer whose real wages will plummet by £3,000.

Never mind the JAMs – the Just About Managing – it’s more like margarine for these public sector workers as they spend their lives helping new mums give birth and looking after our parents and grandparents.

We hoped the Chancellor would let vital public servants earn a small pay rise, after years of a pay freeze. 

But no.

The Government seem determined to make midwives, home carers and millions of other workers even poorer.

And we should all be worried.

We all need public services fit for the 2020s.

But there’s a staffing crisis in our schools and hospitals already.

And this will only get worse if working people can’t ever imagine earning a modest pay rise to keep up with the cost of living.

Rents aren’t frozen, nor are energy bills or fares.

Nurses, teachers and dinner ladies having a bit more money in their pockets is good for Britain too.

They’ll be out there spending in the great British high street – and that will help get our towns and cities growing again.

That way everyone wins.

It’s time for the Government to think again.

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