During the Spending Review statement in the House of Commons, DUP Westminster Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has urged the Chancellor to widen access to pay rises within the public sector to other key workers such as the Armed Forces who have stood in the frontline against Covid-19.
Commenting Sir Jeffrey said,
“We welcome the £900m boost for Northern Ireland as a result of this Spending Review. We will work with the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure this is used to support our hospitals and help protect livelihoods.
It is also welcome that frontline health workers will receive a well-deserved pay rise but it is grossly unfair to other hard working public servants who did not step back from their work at the height of the covid-19 pandemic when roads were empty and most people were at home anxious about the uncertainty.
We consider our council staff who ensured the streets were clean and bins collected, our armed forces who helped get PPE and testing to where it was needed, the police officers who still tackled crime and those who kept our public transport rolling. I have urged the Chancellor to consider all those public sector workers who stood tall and carried on when there was no sign of a vaccine and no sign of lockdown being lifted.
Finally, I commend the Government on the way many within our private sector have been cushioned from being completely wiped out as a result of the pandemic. Almost 250k jobs have been supported in Northern Ireland as a result of the Chancellor’s actions and we are very cognisant of that.
One sector which still requires a UK wide support package is the aerospace sector. It has been shook to the core with order books facing massive uncertainty. This sector needs a UK wide approach and we urge the Chancellor to build on engagement with the devolved regions and act to protect this pioneers of manufacturing.”