Almost 900,000 public sector workers such as doctors, teachers and police officers are set to get an above-inflation pay rise.
The news comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak ‘recognised their vital contribution’ throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Nurses, midwives, hospital porters and other NHS staff are not covered due to a three-year deal in 2018 which sees a total of 6.5% increase over the period.
The existing departmental budgets will fund the salary increases of up to 3.1%.
Labour has responded explaining that the rise would not make up for the years of real-term cuts and the seven-year freezing of public sector pay from Conservatives. The settlement will also not help care workers who are paid by struggling local authorities.
Pay rises will be different across the UK also.
- Teachers in England will see the largest increase of 3.1%
- Doctors and Dentists across the UK will see a 2.8% increase backdated to April
- Police officers, prison officers and National Crime Agency staff in England and Wales will be given a 2.5% increase
- Members of the armed forces will see a 2% increase backdated to April
- and finally, members of the judiciary and senior civil servants will see a 2% top-up on their wages backdated to April
Police and teachers operate a different pay year so increases will start in September.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “These past months have underlined what we always knew, that our public sector workers make a vital contribution to our country and that we can rely on them when we need them.
“It’s right, therefore, that we follow the recommendations of the independent pay bodies with this set of real-terms pay rises.”
Currently, more than 300 NHS workers have died in England alone after contracting coronavirus while working throughout the pandemic.
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said although the pay rise is ‘good news’, ‘it won’t make up for a decade of real-term pay cuts’ for many front-line workers.
“Many other public sector workers – including those working on the front line in social care – won’t get a pay rise out of this at all because the Tories haven’t made good on their promises to boost local authority funding,” Dodds explains.
“That’s not fair – and it’s no way to reward those who’ve been at the forefront of fighting this pandemic.”
The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, added: “Many public sector workers, like jobcentre staff and local government workers, aren’t getting these rises. They deserve a decent pay settlement too.
“And the government should urgently announce a pay rise for social care workers, who put their lives on the line to care for others during this pandemic.”
The government borrowed a record-breaking amount in the first quarter of the financial year due to a soar in spending at the height of the coronavirus, amounting to £127.9bn. In 2019-20 borrowing was £55.4bn making the borrowing to fund emergency support measures of the lockdown more than double the whole of the last fiscal year.
June’s pubic sector net borrowing had risen five-fold year-on-year, amounting to £28.3bn more than the previous year and making it the third highest for any single month on record.
Most economists confirm that borrowing was less than expected and less than the downward revised £45.5bn recorded for May.
Woolworths returning to British highstreet next year
Woolworths is making a comeback to the high street next year.
The chain posted on Twitter to explain that three new trial stores will be opened late next year. They wrote: “Here to save 2020! Woolworths is coming back to your high street, as a physical store!
“A couple of legal things to get sorted, but we’re full steam ahead at Woolworths HQ.
“We want to get this right, so we need your help. What do you want at your UK #YourWoolworths?”
They went onto explain that they want fans to tell them exactly what they want from their local Woolies to make sure they get the reopen right.
They added: “Throughout this week, we’ll have announcements and chances to win gift cards for Woolworths and gift cards for other retailers on your high street. Welcome back to Woolworths!”
In response one person wrote: “Apart from pick ‘n’ mix and the top 40 singles, cheap but good quality homeware like saucepans and picture frames and doormats and pillows. And sewing thread and needles. And shoe polish. And seeds and compost and plant pots. Everything Just what it was before, that’s all.”
Another said “I want pick n mix and lots of gift items”.
Another person added: “It’s got to be kid friendly. Easy access, wide aisles and full of stuff kids love. Comics, books, stationary, pic ‘n’ mix etc. Don’t try and stock a little bit of everything… Decide your market and stick to just that.”
Scooters are now available in Salford for public use
Let’s hope this goes better than the Mobikes…
Salford City Council and the University of Salford are said to be thrilled to be trialling the new project.
The Department for Transport has opened the doors for cities, including Salford, to trial new schemes for renting e-scooters.
Previously banned in the UK, the introduction of e-scooters is to discourage workers from using their cars in cities.
Lime, the company behind the e-scooter trial, is a US-based company that currently already operates in London, Milton Keynes, Europe and of course the USA.
With great success in other cities, we can’t wait to see the scooters take off in Salford.
Costing £1 to unlock then an additional 15p per minute whilst you’re out and about. Each scooter is also fitted with an alarm which will activate if someone tried to move it without unlocking.
It’s important you remember to obey traffic laws, to ride safely in the bike lane or street and to wear a helmet.
Will you be trialing the new scooters? Let us know!
Manchester United set to deliver 5,000 free meals for local kids over half-term
Manchester United have announced they will be delivering 5,000 free meals to children over half-term.
Food provided by charity FareShare will be processed and packaged into individual meals at Old Trafford by United staff this week.
It will then be shipped out to local Manchester United Foundation partner schools.
The six schools involved include Waterhead Academy, Dean Trust Rose Bridge, The East Manchester Academy, Manchester Enterprise Academy, Manchester Academy, Stretford High School. Other charities will also receive some of the meals as part of the scheme.
It comes as United Striker, Marcus Rashford, campaigned to extend free meal provision until Easter 2021. MP’s voted against the action last week but are now facing a lot of pressure to reverse their decision.
A statement from the club reads: “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more families are dealing with food poverty,”
“The impact of the virus has exacerbated an existing problem and, with unemployment rising and the economic crisis biting hard, many are struggling with reduced income.
“As a result, many families and children simply do not have enough food and are going hungry. This initiative does not solve the issue locally, but will make a significant difference to the lives of hundreds of families across Greater Manchester.”
John Shiels, the chief executive of the Manchester United Foundation, added: “We’re incredibly proud and humbled to be working with FareShare over October half-term.
“This initiative will go a long way to ensuring that pupils from our partner schools and families using local food-banks have fresh meals to eat, during what we know is a difficult time for many.
“We’ve seen first-hand how children from socially challenged backgrounds can be even more vulnerable when they’re not in school, it’s therefore imperative to be present in their lives throughout the school holidays, showing that we care and the Foundation is always here to support.”