Brexiteer Claire Fox defends public sector pay freeze saying workers are 'not the only heroes'

Claire Fox on Question Time

Claire Fox on Question Time - Credit: Twitter

Brexiteer Claire Fox has defended a public sector pay freeze, saying workers were "not the only heroes" of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fox, a former Brexit Party MEP turned peer, said the private sector had been "the invisible front line" in the fight against Covid-19 and also merited a pay rise.

Responding to Welsh minister Vaughan Gething on Question Time, she said: "And many public sector workers are actually in a stronger position at the moment, in terms of job security, than the private sector.

“The private sector is full of people who actually also were the invisible front line that kept us going. The people who dropped off to those people who enjoy working home; the Deliveroo drivers; all of these people deserve pay rises.

“We all deserve pay rises, but what I’d say is that misses the point. At some point, somebody’s got to create – we’ve got to have economic development, economic prosperity and industrialisation that allow a public sector to exist in the first place."

She went on to say that public sector heroes are "not the only heroes" of the pandemic before adding that people working in the private sector were being "absolutely treated with contempt".

Fox's comments come weeks after it was revealed private contractors working on the government's coronavirus response were being paid £7,500 a day.

MORE: Government minister struggles to defend £7,360-a-day pay for consultants behind NHS Test and Trace

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced public sector workers with the exception of NHS staff and the lowest-paid workers would not receive a pay rise next year.

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It comes off the back of a spending review aimed at plugging a looming hole in the public's finances caused by the coronavirus and which saw the UK's foreign aid budget cut to 0.5% of GDP.

Responding to Fox's comments on Twitter, @hobbitoncentral posted: "Could someone please tell Claire Fox that it’s hard to hold down or keep a job if you’re long term ill or dead (and infecting your nana or grandad isn’t a great thing to have to live with either)."

@hustlersconvent wrote: "But no-one is treating delivery drivers and others with contempt. This is more manufactured division."

Others agreed with Fox. Ali said: "It's a good point. There's few people speaking up for private sector workers... and private / public shouldn't be pitted against each other."

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