MP calls for rise for lowest paid frontline workers in NHS pay debate
- Credit: Victoria Pertusa
A Norfolk MP has called for a bigger rise for the lowest paid frontline workers instead of a 1pc blanket pay rise for NHS workers.
George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk said there was "no magic money tree" and the chancellor was right to insist public spending discipline but the lowest paid NHS workers should receive a bigger share.
He added: "Our frontline carers and nurses have gone the extra mile. Rather than a blanket 1pc for all NHS including the highest paid I would hope the pay review body focus a bigger rise for the lowest paid on the frontline."
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said the government needed to find a "bigger and better way to say thank you" by working with the NHS and using land to offer plots for employees to buy homes.
He said: "The NHS pay rise of 1% may not be great but it’s 1% more than other public sector staff are getting.
"Use NHS land to offer serviced plots of land to NHS employees, where they can commission a house to their own design, which they can then rent from the NHS at an affordable rent – with a chance to buy it later at a discount in return for a calibrated loyalty package.
"We need to change things so that ordinary people on normal incomes can seriously think about buying a house to their own design at a price that they can afford.
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"After their totally extraordinary effort – and sacrifice – during the pandemic, I believe we should do it as soon as possible."
Labour's Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich North, said it was "depressingly predictable" for the government to justify meagre pay rises and service cuts.
He added: "As I've heard many people say, applause doesn't pay the bills or feed your family."
Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, and Norwich South MP Chloe Smith and Duncan Baker said the chancellor's priority was to protect as many livelihoods as possible and a desire to pay staff more when the economy was stronger.
Mr Mayhew said: "People agree with the chancellor that what money we have should be overwhelmingly focussed on supporting people to keep jobs, and getting those who have lost jobs back to work, before increasing taxes to pay for further rises for those in secure employment."
Miss Smith said people would also want to use formal ways to recognise people's efforts.
She added: "I think everyone understands that many people outside the public sector have lost their jobs or lost money, and so these judgements have to be fair to all kinds of workers and taxpayers."
Mr Baker added: “The NHS is however, quite rightly being recognised and more than others, with an increase of pay which others will not have. NHS staff will continue to benefit from the previously agreed multiyear pay deals too."