Millionaire and former Prime Minister David Cameron has been slammed today after accusing the Labour Party and those demanding fair wages for NHS staff of being “selfish”.
Cameron’s tenure was marred by seven years of rolling back the state in the form of punitive and damaging austerity measures, and it appears that while the general public have changed their mind on public sector wages – he hasn’t.
Speaking at the Asia Leadership Conference in South Korea, Cameron waded into the argument that is currently fuelling even more division in the Tory party. While some in his party are calling the cap on nurse’s pay to be eased, he is adamant that Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond should stick to their guns and continue punishing public sector workers for the mistakes of the very wealthy:
“The opponents of so-called austerity couch their arguments in a way that makes them sound generous and compassionate.”
“They seek to paint the supporters of sound finances as selfish, or uncaring. The exact reverse is true. Giving up on sound finances isn’t being generous, it’s being selfish: spending money today that you may need tomorrow.”
His use of the term ‘so-called’ austerity doesn’t help his already intellectually bankrupt case. Britain’s public sector and NHS in particular has suffered from bitter and callous cuts, Cameron’s oblivious attitude to the struggle of ordinary working people simply shows how truly out of touch he is. Public sector workers, including nurses, had their pay frozen between 2010 and 2012 by axe-wielding Chancellor George Osborne, and since then their rises have been capped at 1% per annum.
It’s no wonder David Cameron is so out of touch with the needs of the British people. After all, he was probably paid a vast sum for making this absurd speech in the first place. His engagements as a former Prime Minister make him an incredibly wealthy individual, so much so that he can afford to pay £25,000 for a GARDEN SHED. And yes, that is just as much than the median basic annual salary for nurses in Britain.
It’s safe to say that Labour, whose amendment to the Queen’s Speech lifting the public sector pay cap was defeated by the Conservative/DUP coalition, were not impressed by the former PM’s comments. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said:
“Time and time again the Tories demonstrate they live in a different world from the rest of us. Only David Cameron would say that hard working people seeing their living standards fall back and their pay suppressed is good for them. It just further shows how out of touch he was then, and still remains today.”
“The austerity measures such as the public sector pay cuts that he brought in, which Theresa May has continued, were meant to divide communities and undermine working people. And it has led to a situation in our country where we have nurses relying on food banks.”
Meanwhile, general secretary of UNISON, Dave Prentis, slammed Cameron:
“Anyone who cares about our schools, hospitals and community services expects dedicated employees to be paid a decent wage. It’s politicians that insist on holding public sector wages back behind prices who are the selfish ones.
“As struggling staff leave for better paid jobs elsewhere, employers are finding it tough to replace them. Services are suffering and we’re all paying the price. The government must give staff a decent pay rise now before any more damage is done.”
With stories of nurses using food-banks aplenty during the general election campaign, the Prime Minister responsible is now swanning around giving incredibly well-paid speeches on how ‘selfish’ they are. What planet are the Tories on, seriously?
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