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Press cycle: Firefighters Pay
#1
Should firefighters get a 40% pay rise?

Closes 30 May 23:59
Steve
Will be doing things soon
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#2
Look, everyone loves a pay rise, and this year every Government employee should be getting a real terms pay rise. But to give one group of people a 40% pay rise would not only be unfair to all the other employees of the state but would also frankly be excessive. Yes firefighters earn more in Ireland, but we cannot simply give them 40% in one lump sum and be done with it, we must slowly build up to £30,000 to ensure that we don't cripple the national finances at a time when the economy is slowing down. We can and must do more to properly compensate our public sector employees, but 40% for one sector of employees is simply too much too soon.
REBECCA FLAIR

LIB DEM MP FOR MONTGOMERYSHIRE
______
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. - Friedrich Hayek
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Milton Friedman
______

Mac the Great and Powerful
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#3
If you're the bloke whose house is burning, I doubt very much you care if French or German firefighters don't earn as much. You want to be sure that the firefighter saving your family is skilled, well-trained and well-kept and frankly, that's going to mean putting cash in. The problem is that people like Rebecca Flair think of firefighters as their personal "employees". Well they're not your employees, they're life-savers and often heroes. Paying them properly is hardly unreasonable for that, is it?
Aaron | Coaching Admin
Civil Service roles: FCO, MoD, Environment
Press roles: Foreign coverage
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#4
The work which firemen do is dangerous, necessary and life-saving. I will be the first to stand up and thank them for their selfless work. While the Liberal Democrats believe that firemen are personal employees of the tax payer, the Labour party takes the cynical view that these heroes do what they do for the money. By contrast, I believe that firemen work hard every day primarily out of a love for their communities and that their pay is a secondary consideration. It isn't so long ago that we had volunteer fire departments across the country and there was, even in those days, no shortage of brave men and sometimes women who would run into burning buildings to save homes and, more importantly, lives. However, these men are now professionals and, on the whole, we are better off for it. Being that they have devoted themselves to this kind of dangerous task, it is only right that they should be properly remunerated for their work and that pay should be given according to the needs and abilities of local communities. I believe that local councils should be responsible for negotiating pay and organizing fire departments across the country, not some bureaucrats in Whitehall. This will ensure that fire departments are organized according to local need and that they are remunerated for their service according to what is reasonable in their area.

The firefighters' union representatives have made clear that my solution is the appropriate one: the cost of living in London being significantly higher than anywhere else in the country, and firefighters there being so busy by comparison, is the exact reason that firefighters must be paid and organized by local councils. The current pay structure for firefighters is the way it is because of its centralized nature; if we distribute this authority to local communities, as we have done with many other vital services to excellent effect, then we will see firefighters receive a fairer wage across the country.
[Image: VO5PA6L.png]
R I C H A R D • D E • V I L L I E R S
C O N S E R V A T I V E
for
G R A N T H A M

Shadow SoS for Regions, Nations, & Devolution | Constitutional Affairs

CORNERSTONE GROUP
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#5
Mr Stonewood is so outspoken in to defending the Tory retirement home in the Lords, but his words fall short of supporting pay increase for firefighters. I'd rather have my taxes contribute to the decent pay firefighters deserve, than on hereditary Tory cronies claiming allowances for sleeping in Parliament. The Conservatives don't lack the ability to speak firmly on issues that matter, they lack the will to prioritise the bravest among us instead of partisan Tory cronies.
The Rt Hon Angela Harvey MP | Labour Party, Socialist Campaign Group

Deputy Prime Minister & Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (1992 - Incumbent)
Member of Parliament for Dover (1992 - Incumbent)

Previously: "A nobody backbencher", "Backbench Spokesperson for Everything"

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#6
I must say that I concur with my colleague, Mr. Stonewood, in that our heroes who risk their own lives to save that of others are totally deserving of proper respect and remuneration. Which is why I find it so disheartening that this Government is so willing to frame this issue in such a cheap and politically expedient manner. According to them, it's the Lords who are ripping pay off our firefighters - I'd like to see the faces of the FBU leaders when they hear that line. Frankly, we need more seriousness on this matter, not painfully obvious politicking by people who simply won't go after the issue at hand.
Terry Roberts, MP for Southampton Test
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Shadow Foreign Minister


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#7
Regional pay for firefighters is a ludicrous, insulting, and frankly dangerous policy. The Conservative Party believes a firefighter living in northern England is worth less, and should be paid less, than a firefighter in northern London. Firefighters face dangers on a daily basis, horrors that a Conservative cannot imagine, and keep us all safe. The least we can do is treat them equally, and pay them fairly. A firefighter in northern England deserves the same pay as a firefighter in northern London. They do the same job, face the same risks, and keep us safe equally. The Government is committed to a fair remuneration package for all; Conservative Party backbenchers want to pay people less, simply for not living in London. This is unacceptable. I call on the Leader of the Conservative Party to condemn this policy, and reaffirm a commitment to paying all firefighters equally.
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#8
I reject wholeheartedly the idea, put forward by the Tory backbench, that firefighters in the North or Midlands should be paid less than firefighters in London. The horrors of fire and the devastating impact it can have on communities is very real throughout the whole country. Working class communities in the North should not have their fire protection pitted against London in a race to the bottom. Firefighters should not be financially punished for living beyond the M25 and I'm very worried about which other public services the Tories think should be done on the cheap in the North. Equal pay is the basis of public services in this country and while more can be done, federalising is dangerous.
Aaron | Coaching Admin
Civil Service roles: FCO, MoD, Environment
Press roles: Foreign coverage
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#9
The Tory message for our public sector seems to be very simple, if you live outside of London and the South East then you are worth less. The people of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the rest of England are fed up of being treated like second class citizens to benefit the South East and London. We must find a funding programme for our public sector and our firefighters that does not discriminate based on a postcode lottery or based on the nation you were born in. It doesn't matter if you were born in Barking, Belfast, Bridgend, or Brechin you should be properly compensated for your service to our nation and our population.
REBECCA FLAIR

LIB DEM MP FOR MONTGOMERYSHIRE
______
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. - Friedrich Hayek
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Milton Friedman
______

Mac the Great and Powerful
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#10
Heavens me, I must express my concern that it appears nobody in the Government nor the Liberal Democrats ever took an economics class. They whine and whine about how apparently I think someone in the North is worth less than someone in the Southeast or London. That is nonsense. What I do realise is that it costs more to live in London. Rent is higher. Housing prices are higher. Food costs more. Restaurants are more expensive. Nobody in the Conservative Party thinks that a firefighter in London is worth more than a firefighter in Durham. That is ridiculous. It's silly. What we do, on a fundamental level, believe, is that a firefighter in London should be able to afford the same quality of life as a firefighter in Durham, or Manchester, or Edinburgh. What Labour and the Liberal Democrats are saying is that they would rather a London firefighter be less well off than a firefighter in the North so long as firefighters everywhere made the same amount. It's a classic socialist philosophy come back to haunt us - one size fits all as long as its the size they choose for you; treat everyone the same regardless of their reality.

I find myself, generally, in agreement, with Ms Flair on this matter. I would love to give everyone a massive raise and I certainly would like to see firefighters earning more. However, we must act with regard to fiscal prudence. A 40% one-off increase in pay is not fiscally feasible. We must work to increase the pay of firefighters to be more in line with other positions employed through the Home Office budget, such as the bobbies that patrol our streets every night. That is a goal that we can work, over the coming years, to achieve. That is a goal that a Conservative government will commit itself to. A fair and equitable pay settlement is our priority - a settlement that sees pay rise in line with earnings, except where a differential must be made up. In the case of the firefighters, there is a clear pay differential that we must work to eliminate.
The Hon Lady Eleanor Grosvenor MP
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
MP for Sevenoaks | Conservative Party
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#11
The Conservative Party calls it ‘classic socialist philosophy’, I call it equal pay for equal work. It used to be a principle most politicians agreed with, but clearly we are in an age of Conservative extremism. If the Conservatives want to abandon that, then it shows how much of a threat to our economy and public services they are. The British public will not let them near power.
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#12
Press cycle closed
Steve
Will be doing things soon
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