Welsh Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Roger Williams has today announced a final ‘red line’ that the party would demand in any coalition negotiations.
Roger Williams has said that after five years of pay restraint, teachers, nurses, police officers and all those who work in the public sector should no longer face pay cuts – and that it’s time to offer some light at the end of the tunnel.
The party’s proposals would introduce a minimum pay increase in line with inflation for the next two years, and guarantee real terms increases in pay once the books have been balanced.
This means a nurse on £25,000 would receive a minimum pay increase of £350, a police officer on £30,000 would receive £490 and a teacher on £35,000 would get at least £490 over the first two years.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can credibly make this commitment. The Conservatives have said they will continue with public sector pay restraint for another two years. Labour’s manifesto doesn’t commit to increasing public sector pay.
Roger Williams, the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
“This is a major commitment that will benefit thousands of people in Wales.
“No party will win an overall majority in this election and it is vital that parties are open and upfront about what they would do in a coalition.
“Liberal Democrats will not enter a coalition with a party not prepared to back pay rises for people working in the public sector.
“Public sector workers have made enough sacrifices to help our country get back on track. Only Liberal Democrat MPs can guarantee an end to further cuts to pay.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said:
“The work public sector workers do is the cornerstone of a fair and decent society. We have a moral obligation to support them, and protect the services they provide.
“Jobs and pay are under threat from the Conservatives. They want to embark on a slash and burn approach to the public sector. And Labour’s failure to deal with the economy, allowing austerity to drag on, will prolong pay restraint for many years to come.”