Hunt urged to reward key workers and tackle inequality in Spring Budget

Amid fears that the Chancellor will uphold policies that favour the rich, calls are being made for Jeremy Hunt to tackle child poverty and inequality and reward key workers.

Jeremy Hunt

A source told the Mirror newspaper, which is urging Hunt to compensate key workers and introduce measures to tackle inequality, that there will be “not a single penny” of additional funding to public sector staff, such as those working for the NHS.

The Chancellor has also been warned that unless he commits to public pay rises there will be a “mass exodus” of nurses, teachers, and paramedics.

The warnings come as trade unions are taking part in one of the biggest days of strike action in decades. Teachers, civil servants, university staff and junior doctors, are among those striking today over poor pay and working conditions as the cost-of-living soars.

Meanwhile, a poll by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has revealed nearly two-fifths of public sector workers are actively considering leaving the profession or have already taken steps to leave. The poll surveyed 1,000 workers in the public sector. Almost half – 46 percent – said pay was a major factor as to why there were considering leaving. TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said if the situation is not resolved, ‘crippling frontline services’ will only get worse.

“We’ve all heard stories of ambulances not arriving in time or people having to wait for months for vital operations. 

“Meanwhile kids are being taught in crumbling classrooms and cash-starved local councils are struggling to provide even basic services.

“Our public services do not have the capacity or the funding to keep up with demand,” Nowak continued.

In the Spring Budget, which is being announced at lunchtime, Hunt is expected to declare a £4bn expansion of childcare support. The Treasury has also announced the energy price guarantee will be extended for a further three months from April to June at its current level. This caps average household bills at £2,500.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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