Sunak wants migrants to bear the burden of public sector payrise

Rishi Sunak
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Prime minister Rishi Sunak has made a final offer on public sector pay. Or so he says. The PM said in a speech that the government would be not budging on future strikes, but also that pay rises would not come from taxes or cuts. Barring a magic money tree, how’s he going to manage this, then?

It seems he plans to put the cost on migrant workers. This will be done through visa fees and charges for using the NHS that migrants will have to pay. So, in other words, he’s punishing migrants for the Tories own poor economic management.

Suank said:

That’s why the decision has been difficult, and why it has taken time to decide the right course of action. I can confirm today that we are accepting the headline recommendations of the pay review bodies in full, but we will not fund them by borrowing more or increasing your taxes.

According to Politico, the money will also be made up by freezing recruitment in some departments:

The government promised that a rise in visa fees and extra charges on migrant workers using the health service will meet some of the cost while there will be a civil service recruitment freeze in the Ministry of Defense until March 2025.

The planned pay rises will go to doctors, police officers, teachers, prison officers and senior civil servants. But, Sunak maintains that further rises will make the cost of living crisis worse. Yet not everyone is convinced.

Read on...

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The reaction among different militant sectors has been varied. Teachers, for example, look set to end their strikes. But doctors look ready to press on. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham told reporters:

I think we’ll be seeing a new wave of industrial action.

It also has to be said that many people simply did not believe there would be no cuts. Diane Abbott applauded the workers for beating the Tory government, but said services would be cut to fund the rises:

Meanwhile one trade unionist warned Sunak about his tone, reminding him workers are also voters:

Sunak’s trickery

And even a Liberal Democrat got it, in this case party leader Ed Davey:

One immigration lawyer pointed out that fees and surcharges for migrants in the UK are already some of the steepest in the world:

Sunak’s attempt to look like the adult in the room has fallen flat. There will certainly be cuts in one form or another. And putting an additional burden on hard-pressed migrants is just quintessential Toryism.

As for striking workers, having forced this concession, this is exactly the moment to recommit yourself to more militant trade unionism.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Simon Walker, cropped to 1910 x 1000, licenced under Open Government Licence

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  • Show Comments
    1. Proposals such as these from the PM and other members of the cabinet reflect the views they hear from Conservative Party members and are consistent with their paradigms of ‘human nature’ and what ‘England/Britain’ is. These views are then amplified by the mainstream media using carefully chosen language to render it more acceptable to a wider range of people. And then the media produce the vox pops by seemingly ‘ordinary people’ who, in local accents, indicate approval. They might even include an alleged ‘migrant worker’, who says in faltering English that it is ‘fair’, because he is grateful to work in England.

    2. “That’s why the decision has been difficult” says the enormously wealthy Mr Sunak, after deciding to make far poorer people suffer for his far right political ideology. Likewise Joe Biden complains he had to make a ‘difficult decision’ to send cluster bombs to kill children in Ukraine for many years to come. Oh, the miseries of being a rich, comfortable political leader.

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