I listened with interest to the words of our current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, this week and one statement more than any other stuck out like a sore thumb and made me question the credibility of his speech.
“…If you work hard and play by the rules you should be rewarded…”
It is hard to know where to begin with this topic but I’ll have a go.
Have nurses not been working hard enough? Have they broken too many rules? It makes the words uttered by our PM appear resoundingly hollow when thousands of over-worked and disillusioned nurses have already left the profession and there are currently 50,000 vacancies in the UK.
It demonstrates staggering hypocrisy to broadcast such a statement to the nation, when nurses, resorting for the first time in the 106 year history of the profession to reluctantly take strike action, were not shown sufficient respect by the government to even discuss an appropriate ‘reward’ for ‘working hard and playing by the rules’.
Hard on the heels of Rishi’s speech, The Independent reported, “Top bosses set to surpass annual pay of average worker in just five days…”
The article revealed the bosses of the largest companies in the UK will have earned more money in the first five days of 2023 than an average worker in the country does over the entire year.
Since January 2022, median pay levels for CEOs have risen by 39% while median worker’s pay has risen by 6% (Office for National Statistics).
We do not need Rishi’s extra maths lessons to work out that 39% of a CEOs salary adds up to an awful lot more cash in the pocket than 6% of the average worker’s salary. I am sure some CEOs work very hard to warrant high salaries, but not necessarily harder than anybody else.
For some hard-working employees, the reward for their labours includes a weekly trip to the local foodbank.
The speech delivered on 4th January was intended to set out Rishi Sunak’s vision for the future but it lacked substance. Making fair pay a priority would be a great place to start. We do not need another PM telling us what, as a nation, we need.
Halving Inflation, growing the economy, ensuring our national debt is failing, cutting NHS waiting lists and controlling immigration have been on the agenda for some time.
His speech revealed an alarming lack of commitment toward accelerating the growth of renewable energy that will deliver the long-term the economic security and stability upon which the resolution of so many of the aforementioned issues, to a large extent, depend.
Once again we have a Conservative PM making promises of short-term gains and limited ambition. Twelve years in office and still the Conservative government does not have a plan.
The slick final words of his speech were summed up perfectly by James Dunn (New Statesmen, 5th January 2023), “… Sunak ended his speech by telling the public to judge him on his actions: “I will only promise what I can deliver and I will deliver what I promise.” Since he promised very little, we should expect little delivery…”