Public sector pay cap remains after MPs reject Labour amendment to Queen's Speech

Written by Tom Freeman on 29 June 2017 in News

Labour calls on the Scottish Government to lift the public sector pay cap in Scotland after SNP MPs vote for Jeremy Corbyn's amendment to the Queen's Speech

Jeremy Corbyn - PA Wire

The Conservative and DUP alliance in the House of Commons has rejected a bid by Labour to end the public sector pay cap.

MPs rejected an amendment to the Queen's Speech which called for an end to the one per cent limit to public sector pay rises, and also to cuts to the police and emergency services.

This came despite ministers earlier briefing that they were considering reviewing the cap.


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MPs voted 323 to 309 against the Labour amendment, the first time the pact between Theresa May and the DUP has been put to the test.

Several Conservative MPs had called for the cap to be lifted during the debate but subsequently voted against the proposal, indicating Chancellor Philip Hammond may have to make concessions in his budget.

Jeremy Corbyn said: "Although government ministers said they had learned the lessons of the general election and were listening to voters, it is clear that nothing has changed."

"They had the perfect opportunity to walk the walk, but instead they marched through the lobby to show Tory austerity is business as usual.

"While the money is there when the Conservatives need it to keep themselves in office, the rest of the country now face more devastating cuts to our emergency and other vital services."

Earlier in the day results from the latest British Social Attitudes Survey revealed an increase in the number of voters who think the government should raise taxes and increase spending to its highest level since 2004.

SNP MPs voted with Labour to scrap the cap. Economy spokesperson Kirsty Blackman said: “This whole sorry episode reveals that, behind the scenes, the Tories agree with us that the public sector pay cap is increasingly unsustainable.

“This week the Tories found a magic money tree to buy support from the DUP – so they cannot claim there isn’t money available for fair pay for workers."

The position prompted Scottish Labour to put pressure on the Scottish Government to lift the cap in Scotland.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird said: "Nicola Sturgeon must now follow the lead of her own MPs and scrap the public sector pay cap. We need a commitment to end the pay cap before Holyrood rises for the summer recess."

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