Thank you very much for contacting me about the vote last week about public sector pay.
If Labour’s amendment had been passed (and it was crafted to be as embarrassing as possible to vote it down), it would have been taken as a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the Government. In normal language, that means the Government would have fallen and another general election would have had to be held. The cheers that were heard in the Chamber, (I wasn’t in the Chamber at the time so didn’t hear them) were not about a proposal to increase public sector pay but about the Government establishing its right to exist at all.
Of course the truth is that all Conservatives would like to increase the pay of those looking after our public services but we face a huge problem in doing so. Mr Corbyn’s proposal is an easy thing to write down on a piece of paper as Leader of the Opposition but much more difficult to deliver in practice.
You are probably sick and tired of hearing about the deficit but it remains a millstone around the nation’s neck. It has been reduced hugely but still stands at an astonishing 52 thousand, million pounds every year. That is the amount we are spending every single year above and beyond what we, the Government collect in taxes. To balance the books we have to borrow that amount or raise taxes. To put this all into perspective, interest payments on the outstanding debt is now running at over 50 thousand, million pounds each year. That is larger than the schools budget and policing budget combined and the third biggest spending item in Government. To put it another way it is nearly half of what we spend on the NHS.
The point here is that if we, the current generation, carry on spending in this way it is grossly unfair to those that follow. You, your children and grandchildren will be paying for my generation’s inability to curb our profligacy. I don’t know what you think, but I just don’t think that is right or sustainable.
Thank you again for contacting me.