The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been put under pressure today as her own Cabinet ministers begin to back calls led by the Liberal Democrats and Labour to scrap the public sector pay cap.
Pressure To Intervene
The cap, which allows for only a 1% pay rise for public sector jobs like nurses and teachers, has been widely criticised over the past weeks, becoming a key issue during the election campaign. The cap, below inflation, amounts to a real-terms cut in the pay of frontline public service personnel.
The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who voted against lifting the pay cap in Parliament on Thursday, came out this morning in what appeared to be a u-turn, now calling for it to be removed. This follows a similar intervention by his Vote Leave colleague, Michael Gove. With two Cabinet ministers now supporting an end to this flagship Conservative economic policy, the Prime Minister will now find herself under renewed pressure to intervene.
Johnson Criticised For U-Turn
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, whose party helped lead the charge on abolishing the cap during the election, with it featuring prominently in their manifesto, called Johnson “utterly shameful” for his u-turn, and reaffirming the party’s opposition to it:
Not true. We voted to raise the pay cap. It's something I've long called for.
— Tim Farron (@timfarron) July 3, 2017
The Lib Dems joined Labour in the Parliamentary effort to scrap it last week, but were defeated by the Conservative-DUP Coalition.