Sumary of The Guardian view on public sector pay: inadequate and insulting | Editorial:
- Government tactics for getting into the recess without allowing MPs a proper chance to examine big issues like Covid controls, social care reform, public sector pay and public spending have been reminiscent of football time-wasting ploys at their worst.
- For days, there was Westminster talk of a strategic pre-recess announcement on social care reform.
- Decisions on NHS and other public sector pay rates were much trailed too.
- In the event, there has been no social care statement – while a set of pay decisions was shuffled out at the last minute in a ministerial written statement.
- Reform of social care, for example, one of the great unaddressed needs of the nation, is dependent on strategic decisions about post-pandemic public spending.
- Yet now it appears that the Treasury has decided to pay a bit more to NHS nurses, consultants and support staff in England by raiding a not-yet announced rise in national insurance contributions for employers and employees that was originally earmarked for the desperately needed social care budget.
- If ever there was a case in both social justice and strategic-need terms for an across-the-board pay boost it surely applies to the NHS today.
- Not only has the NHS kept the country alive through the pandemic, it also now faces enormous demands across a range of non-Covid sectors, where cases have been backed up and waiting lists allowed to balloon.