On LBC News this morning I called out Liz Truss’s plan to cut what she dubs ‘Whitehall waste’. Further redundancies and pay cuts in the public sector would have a devastating effect on Government services which are already under extreme strain. The Government’s plan to solve the passport and driving licence delays is to sack the people the very people that are clearing the backlog! It wasn’t a surprise to see my constituency neighbour, Jacob Rees-Mogg also doing the media round this morning, defending this policy.
Truss also faced a huge backlash, including from within her own party, for calling for regional pay boards, which would tailor wages to living costs in different parts of the country. In effect this would mean a pay cut for public sector workers – including teachers and nurses – in most areas outside London, including in the South West.
So much for levelling up; this policy would be a huge let down! As Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said this morning, Liz Truss’s proposal will lead to “a race to the bottom on public sector workers’ pay and rights”. Less than 24 hours later Truss has panicked and u-turned on the regional pay pledge, but make no mistake that this exposes her true intentions. The Conservatives have no interest in overcoming regional inequality or tackling the cost-of-living crisis.