Following the Queen’s Speech debate Madeleine Moon MP supported Amendment I, calling on the Government to end the public sector pay cap. Mrs Moon spoke several times in the debate highlighting the unjust cuts to public services, the gaps in defence spending and called on the Home Secretary to support victims of domestic violence.
During the Queen’s Speech debate on Wednesday (28th June 2017), Mrs Moon paid tribute to the bravery of members of our public services, juxtaposing this with the treatment they have received from the government in terms of cuts to budgets, pay caps and unpaid work.
“Throughout today’s debate there has been a lot of talk about British values, but what do we mean by British values? Do we mean the bravery of those doctors, nurses, firefighters and police officers who ran to help those being attacked by terrorists? Do we mean those who ran into Grenfell Tower to help people at a time of distress? Do we mean those we have been insulting with a 1% pay rise, year on year, driving them into poverty? Do we mean those NHS workers who between 2010 and 2016 have lost £4.3 billion in cuts from the NHS staffing budget? Is that who we mean when we talk about British values? Or do we mean the 42% of NHS workers who do unpaid overtime to keep the NHS going?”
Mrs Moon also exposed how the armed forces “are being bled dry” and called for an urgent review of the capability of the armed forces and its funding, to ensure the UK maintains its standing in NATO. There is a gap in the defence budget of between £10 billion and £20 billion over the next decade which raises yet more questions about how the UK can meet its commitment to NATO of spending 2% of national income on defence. The government includes war pensions and intelligence-gathering in this 2%, which previously came under other budgets. Due to this and budgetary holes, Mrs Moon said that “our capability to defend this country is diminishing day by day.”
In her last intervention of the day, she called the Home Secretary to look at victims of domestic violence, who she said are: “subject to a new form of abuse, namely being constantly returned to court by ex-partners demanding extra access to the children? That is a way to intimidate, bully and impoverish many of those who have the children in their care.” This led to the Home Secretary confirming the government would be looking into this issue in the Domestic Violence Bill.