Front Line Health Workers Deserve Pay Rise

Garff MHK Martyn Perkins has asked the Treasury to give front line health service workers a pay rise in light of their work during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Mr Perkins was speaking during yesterday’s Budget debate in Tynwald when he addressed the issue of the public pay rise cap.

He said: ‘I do feel that the front line health service workers deserve to be a special case when it comes to their pay. They put themselves and their family’s on the line. I would welcome as I am sure the public would, that they are made a special case with regard to the public sector pay cap. Surely their dedication and commitment deserves more than 1%.’

While broadly supportive of the Budget as a whole, praising the Treasury team for their ‘fiscal prudence leading up to the Covid crisis’, he said the island ‘must get leaner and be an adopter of technology to deliver the right things to reduce costs and improve services’.

Sharing a similar sentiment with his constituency colleague Daphne Caine, Mr Perkins said the fibre broadband rollout needed to move quicker, saying some people in more rural parts of the island are ‘reliant on stone-age standards of mobile and internet connectivity’. ‘Covid and home working has underlined how vitally important this actually is to get in place if the island is going to compete on an international stage in future,’ he added.

Mr Perkins also used his speech to call on the gov to use brownfield sites to build first time buyer houses and say that he is ‘concerned that Covid has caused considerable disruption in the treatment of patients with certain medical conditions ME, MS Chronic fatigue syndrome and worryingly the effects of long Covid’.

He added: ‘All necessitate resources to attend and treat patients at home. Waiting lists for other treatment have greatly increased and it is important for Manx Care to get this under control. I hope this is well financed from the increased treasury contribution.

‘One item that I believe that needs to be addressed urgently is the situation regarding nursing home care. How can it be fair that one person who has scrimped and saved during their life has to pay around £3,800 a month for their care when in the bed opposite a person who has not put aside a penny, the taxpayer pays for all of their care. 

‘With an aging population and increasing cost of care this disparity needs to be resolved. Rather than just pouring money in, the root of the problem needs to be addressed. This situation should be made more equitable so that each individual contributes accordingly to their means throughout their working life.’

Mr Perkins concluded by saying ‘in this turbulent time in which we live I believe it is a reasoned, stable and sensible budget and will be giving it my full support’.