Election Bribes?

The Conservatives are the party planning to cut public spending the most if they gain power in the general election, as a sweetener they are now offering bribes to the electorate in the form of right to buy social housing and £4bn worth of Lloyds Bank shares, to be offered to small investors at below-market prices. Initial estimates suggest that the new ‘right to buy’ scheme could cost well in excess of £6 billion. The country needs to pay off its debt, not bribe the electorate.

Labour has warned that the number of NHS nurses in England is set to fall by almost 2,000 over the next four years according to the governments projections, this comes on the back of the increasing population, and nurse numbers not keeping pace. The funding of the NHS could be a real issue in coming years, since the coalition government have not honoured the NHS pay review body, but they did honour the pay review body for MPs pay. Hundreds of thousands of health workers including midwives, nurses, radiographers, cleaners and psychiatric staff got below inflation pay rises, year after year.

And with the coalition government giving all the public sector below inflation rises in pay in recent years; its unlikely that the Conservatives will get many of their votes. In Leeds, more than 100,000 people work in the public sector – around 22% of the workforce.

Those NHS workers, and the whole public sector will need a catch up pay rise, will that pay rise come from planned funds? A couple of percent extra pay rise, for 22% of the workforce throughout the country will cost a lot many millions.

A statement from the ‘Office of National Statistics’ in 2014 said “After adjusting for the different organisation sizes between the public and private sector, in April 2013 it is estimated that on average the pay of the public sector was between 1.3% and 2.4% lower than the private sector.”

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