Deputy leader of the Labour Party says 1% pay rise is a 'kick in the teeth' for NHS workers as she sets out what Labour would do
Deputy leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner has criticised the government over their proposed plan to give NHS workers a 1% pay rise.
Speaking to Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway, she declared that it's a "real kick in the teeth for our NHS workers."
Challenged on what the Labour Party would if they were in charge, Ms Rayner stated that they would start at the 2.1% that was "budgeted for" by the current government.
"Why the government have removed that now when the NHS workers have worked so hard for us is a real slap in the face for them. I think it’s disgraceful and it’s a broken promise," she said.
She later added: “The government had budgeted for double the amount they’re offering now. So you could argue that the government’s mismanagement and waste that they’ve created over this period has cost our key workers who have put their lives on the line, at the same time when the Prime Minister is spending £2.6million on doing up his flat. If you ask the general public, they would be very frustrated in that.
"They budgeted for double the amount they are offering the NHS workers now. That’s wrong, they should give them that money they promised them.”
Ms Rayner also responded to criticism over purchasing AirPods for work on expenses.
Defending her reasons for doing so, she said: “£249 on a pair of AirPods so that I can carry out my job, which on average I use four hours a day now on Zooms is nowhere near billions of pounds that has been wasted on contracts to people with no experience whatsoever, so my answer is that we wouldn’t mismanage the finances going forward, we would ensure that the management of finances is prudent as it should be, as it’s taxpayer’s money and reward the workers that have been on the front line, putting their lives at risk and give them the pay rise that they deserve.”
Put to her there are more cost-effective options she said: “We can all debate how much the tech costs. Anyone who has got Apple devices will know, if you don’t buy the Apple accessories then it won’t support it on the devices and I’ve got personal devices like my iMac etc, that I’ve bought myself, which I use for work and my phone etc. It was about making sure there was a balance in terms of what I use for work, which is what I’ve purchased in line with the expenses, like many others including Matt Hancock, who did exactly the same and many other MPs have… I’ve completely complied with all the rules on that.”
Ms Rayner also addressed the devastating disappearance of Sarah Everard and said "women are feeling unsafe and it’s something we need to tackle".
"My thoughts are with Sarah’s family and friends this morning, it must be really devastating news for them. I’ve often had my phone in my hand when I’m walking, especially at night and stayed on the line to people so that I feel that little bit more safe," she said.
"There will be many women and girls that feel unsafe after hearing what’s happened over the last couple of days and that is sad. People do feel vulnerable at night. Unfortunately, that is the case. We’ve just had International Women’s Day and we’ve got domestic violence soaring in the United Kingdom, especially during this pandemic and women are feeling unsafe and it’s something we need to tackle. We should be looking at society, that still too many men think it’s OK to abuse women."