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Emergency Workers ‘See Christmas Earnings Fall’

The call has been made to ensure public sector wages keep up with prices.

First responders around the UK working on Christmas Day will have seen their real wages drop in the last five years (using the government’s preferred CPI measure of inflation), with nurses’ pay found to have fallen £2,600, midwives £3,300, police officers £1,300, ambulance drivers £2,200 and firefighters £3,200.

This is according to new research from the TUC, which also showed that approximately 900,000 people work on December 25th around the UK, with wages having dipped compared with the real annual salaries seen back in 2011.

Frances O’Grady, general-secretary of the organisation, said: “For most of us, Christmas is a well-earned break from the daily grind. But nearly a million people will be working on Christmas Day this year. Many of those keeping our streets safe and providing emergency care have seen their pay fall sharply over the past five years.”

She went on to note that ministers should perhaps bring an end to the real-terms pay cuts and called for the government’s “Scrooge-like” cap on public sector pay to be scrapped, making sure that at the very least wages keep up with prices.

Last year, the TUC’s Austerity Uncovered report looked at how local authority services across England would be affected by the growing funding crisis, finding that by the year 2015-2016 the government would have reduced its funding by around 37 per cent. The total funding gap was predicted at the time to increase at an average rate of £2.1 billion a year until 2019-2020 when it will hit £12.4 billion.

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