The Conservative and DUP alliance scored its first victory today as the magic money tree was put back in the closet when it came to lifting the cap on public sector salaries.
A clear indication that money can buy you loyalty as, despite securing £1.5 billion in extra spending for Northern Ireland, the DUP voted with their new allies to block 5.424 million workers from a long overdue pay rise.
Capped at 1% since 2010, public sector salaries which include our emergency services have long since ceased to be competitive due to inflation and the rise of living costs. The amendment to the Queen’s Speech had been brought forward by Labour but eventually lost with 309 voting to end the cap to 323 voting to retain it.
The vote has been used as a rallying call by Tory MP’s on social media who bizarrely claim that it shows the government as thinking differently, Mid-Norfolk MP, George Freeman tweeted: “Labour’s failed attempt to bring down a serious Government signalling new thinking.” An unusual statement as the vote shows a clear adhesion to the Tories determination to implement austerity and prevent wage rises.
While voting against the bill, Tory MP for Plymouth, Johnny Mercer, said: “I will persistently be a loud voice to remove public sector pay cap for frontline workers. But will not vote with this political game today.” A confusing statement as voting against something he vocally supports would suggest that he has in fact turned the vote into a political game rather than voting in line with his public stance.