The interview with Theresa May on Marr on Sunday must surely rank as one of the most appalling public presentations of the Conservative Party disdain for the rest of society in recent years. The reference to nurses relying on foodbanks is not as Jack Monroe pointed out on twitter, the first time that Theresa May had this pointed out to her. In 2013 Jack was invited to the Tory Party conference and pointed this out to the delegates including Theresa May. The response to this on Marr was pitiful:
“We have… and there are many complex reasons why people go to foodbanks, and I want to develop an economy where yes we have a strong economy so that we can pay for the public services that people need but also we have an economy where we create secure jobs”
The fact is that the Tories have been boasting about the strength of our economy in their discussions on Europe extensively. As the Daily Mail on Friday stated:
“The economy slowed down in the first three months of the year as rising inflation started to bite on consumer spending. UK plc grew by 0.3 per cent, down from 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter – and slightly below expectations. But economists stressed that the economy remained robust and was still performing strongly relative to other major nations.”
There is no excuse for failing to pay nurses and indeed other public workers increases in the light of the strength of the economy. Theresa May is of course right that there are complex reasons why people visit foodbanks, but she is wrong to conflate that with the issue of low pay for public workers when we have a strong economy. She should be ashamed of herself, she is the pay master in chief. MPs have recently received a 10% pay rise and some of them argue they don’t earn enough!. Nearly every pound that is paid to a nurse is used to pay for food or goods that help grow the UK economy. Many of the pounds paid to MPs simply help to strengthen off shore economies.