Nick Ferrari confronts Sunak on NHS pay freeze during Covid

26 November 2020, 09:40 | Updated: 26 November 2020, 09:53

By Fiona Jones

Nick Ferrari challenged the Chancellor on why some NHS workers will have their pay frozen, months after standing on his doorstep to applaud them for their life-saving work during the pandemic.

There will be a pay freeze for the majority of the public sector next year, with a special exemption for lower-paid NHS workers and other lower-paid employees, Rishi Sunak announced in Wednesday's Spending Review.

However NHS workers will not receive a pay rise if their salaries are above the £24,000 per annum threshold.

Speaking on his LBC Breakfast show, Nick asked Mr Sunak why this was the case after standing on his doorstep to applaud their work.

The Chancellor responded that this is a "very challenging set of circumstances" which meant he had to "make some very difficult decisions yesterday to deliver on all the priorities we've already talked about."

"Coming in to this crisis there was a disparity between private and public sector pay, pay levels in the public sector were higher than in the private sector," Mr Sunak said, "that difference has been exacerbated by what we're seeing.

"Over the last six months wages in the private sector have fallen by 1%, wages in the public sector have risen by 4%. People in the private sector have lost their job, their hours have been cut, they have been furloughed - that hasn't happened in the public sector.

"In order to protect jobs in the public sector and to ensure fairness, I don't think I could justify an across the board pay increase."

The Treasury will listen to the pay review body for the NHS workers and they will receive a pay rise next year, the Chancellor confirmed, but the lower-paid workers in any public sector field will continue to be supported.

"That means the majority of public sector workers will see an increase in their pay next year, I think that's a reasonable proportionate and fair approach, given the situation," he said.

Read more: Chancellor hears tearful campaigner over 'abandoned' people taking their lives in lockdown

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Brandon Lewis

Boris Johnson still working and takes ‘red boxes’ on holiday, says Brandon Lewis

'Where do they find the time?!': Nick Ferrari slates mob attacking 'sexist' paint ad

'Where do they find the time?!': Nick Ferrari slates mob attacking 'sexist' paint ad

Nick Ferrari sold on caller's 'three one-off taxes' plan to raise cost-of-living funds

Nick Ferrari sold on caller's 'three one-off taxes' plan to raise cost-of-living funds

Nick Ferrari mocks caller who blames Brexit for water crisis

Nick Ferrari mocks caller who blames Brexit for water crisis

Nick Ferrari gobsmacked after caller says he has had seven bikes stolen.

Nick Ferrari gobsmacked at how caller has had seven bikes stolen

LBC's Reporter Charlotte Lynch took a dip off the Cornish Coast

Nick Ferrari's 'swimming in shark infested waters' reporter challenge

Jacob Rees-Mogg said civil servants had been offered a course on witchcraft

Courses on Check Yo Privilege and witchcraft for civil servants are a waste of time, says JRM

The Defence Secretary was speaking to Nick Ferrari

Ben Wallace accuses Rishi Suank of trying to block extra cash for defence spending

Ben Wallace is backing Liz Truss

'Feisty' Truss is my choice for PM, says Ben Wallace as he reveals endorsement

Tory party co-chair looks ahead to LBC leadership hustings with Nick Ferrari

Tory party co-chairman looks ahead to LBC leadership hustings with Nick Ferrari

'Totally invented tosh': Nadine Dorries dismisses claims she'd give up her constituency seat for Boris

'Totally invented tosh': Nadine Dorries dismisses claims she'd give up seat for Boris

Sunak is 'opposed to transparency' over police league table plans, says minister

Sunak is 'opposed to transparency' over police league table plans, says minister

Exclusive
'Do you want him evicted?': Mick Lynch defends RMT deputy living in council flat on £78k

'Do you want him evicted?': Mick Lynch defends RMT deputy living in council flat on £78k

Exclusive
Social workers 'showed no interest' in tragic Lily-Mai case, grandfather tells LBC

Social workers showed 'no interest' in tragic Lily-Mai case, grandfather tells LBC

A furious Nick Ferrari summed up the issue

Nick Ferrari slams 'sanctimonious' BBC over Princess Diana interview

Nick Ferrari mocks Prince Harry after UN speech

Nick Ferrari mocks Prince Harry after UN speech - 'Buy the bloke a Peroni!'