This week I supported the Labour amendment to end the public sector pay cap and reverse cuts to emergency services on behalf of workers in Newport East.
The Labour amendment to the Government’s recent Queen’s Speech was lost by just 14 votes, with Conservative and DUP MPs uniting to block it. I voted for the Labour amendment to give our public sector workers a much-needed pay rise and to end damaging cuts to key emergency services. I was bitterly disappointed to see the Government – with support from its new-found allies in the DUP – reject this crucial amendment. People will rightly be asking how the Government can afford to gift the DUP £1billion to prop up Theresa May in Downing Street, but refuses to give our hardworking nurses, police, paramedics and firefighters a penny more on their pay. This is another example of a Conservative government putting politics before people, and thousands of workers and families in Newport East – and millions more across the UK – have lost out as a result.
The public will also lose out if the Government continues to plough ahead with further cuts to our emergency services. There are now 20,000 fewer police officers across the UK than there were in 2010, which has meant that over 300 police officers have been lost in the Gwent police force which protects my constituency. With no growth in police funding since 2010, more work is being done by fewer police officers. It’s not enough for Government Ministers to simply praise the heroism and dedication of our emergency services after serious incidents – this sentiment counts for little unless it is backed up with action and investment.
The result of the vote in the Commons was hugely disappointing, but the fight goes on. I will continue to work with Labour colleagues in calling for British workers to get the fair pay rise they deserve, and for properly funded and resourced public services.