Reading East MP, Matt Rodda, has raised concerns that vital services in Reading and Woodley could be cut to pay for an unfunded wage rise being offered to teachers, police officers and NHS staff.
Matt asked a question in Parliament about whether new school building work on The Heights primary school and Reading’s new secondary school could be affected by the cuts that might be made to help fund the pay rises.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss, responded that the Governments programme of spending on schools would continue but without giving details of how the Department for Education would manage this while also having to pay for the pay rise.
Matt said, “Teachers and other public-sector workers deserve a pay increase in real terms. No new funding is being made available for our cash strapped schools and other vital services and I am concerned about what other budgets (areas of funding will) could be cut to meet the pay increase.”
“For example, schools have lost funding and taken on additional costs and will struggle to find 1% of the pay rise themselves. I am worried this will lead to a further reduction in the number of teachers in our schools. Other vital services such as the police and many other parts of the public sector face the same challenges.”
“I would have liked to have heard more detail from the Chief Secretary. The Government has a track record of raiding capital budgets and I am concerned school building projects could be built to a lower specification, delayed or even cut.
“In addition, there may be a series of damaging cuts to the police and other services which also happen as a result of the Government’s mistaken decision not to find extra money for public sector pay.”