Stephen Hepburn MP: Tories are stripping services to the bone

Firefighters who bravely tackled the Grenfell Tower blaze have been handed free holidays, with one man and his family coming up to Yorkshire.
Firefighters who bravely tackled the Grenfell Tower blaze have been handed free holidays, with one man and his family coming up to Yorkshire.

I’ll never forget how gut-wrenching it was to see Conservative MPs cheering a cut in the living standards of NHS and council workers, teachers and the armed forces, firefighters and police officers and everybody else working in public services.

Yes, cheering. Hollering, screaming, smiling and waving their arms around in delight at depriving grafters their first decent pay rise in years by defeating a Labour call to lift the wicked Tory public sector pay cap.

I voted to support all the vital workers who keep our country running and are there for us when we need them so we must be there for them when the weekly and monthly household bills come in.

How little value the Tories place on nurses, teachers, carers, social workers and everybody else can be judged by a two-year wage freeze followed by five years of a measly 1% with no end in sight for this fatwa if moneybags Chancellor Philip Hammond has his way.

Our public servants are £1,000, £2,000, and £3,000 a year down and the truth is the likes of Hammond, a multi-millionaire happy to persecute the millions, doesn’t give a damn and I sometimes wonder if Tories enjoy a perverted pleasure in the meanness to people.

What strikes me is the hypocrisy. After terrorist attacks in Manchester and London the Tories have lined up with everybody else to praise the emergency services.

The same was true after the Grenfell Tower inferno in West London when firefighters and the police displayed extraordinary bravery to save families trapped in the burning tower block.

So it is despicable to reduce the living standards of those hailed as heroes, plaudits carrying a hollow ring when the lauded are financially punished.

And it’s no wonder people are sick and tired of the hypocrisy and deceit of the Tories.

The Conservatives will always find the money for tax giveaways to big business or the wealthy few.

The same Tory mob found a magic money tree to shake for £1 billion to buy the votes of 10 Democratic Unionist MPs in Northern Ireland.

Under Theresa May and before her David Cameron, the Tories are stripping public services down to the bone.

We’ve already lost 20,000 police officers and 11,000 of our firefighters.

Morale in classrooms dropped to an all-time low due to increased workloads and pay caps on teachers and don’t get me started what the Tories are doing to our health service.

The Tory-driven cuts to our NHS led to the closure of the popular Jarrow Walk-In Centre and we are in the middle of one of the biggest political fights of our lives as vital services at South Tyneside Hospital are under threat.

I’ll be joining the rest of the Save South Tyneside Hospital campaigners at a public meeting this week to let the Tories know they won’t get away with killing off our hospital.

We cannot keep starving our public services of money and running our country on the cheap.

Labour’s pledged to reverse the disgraceful growth in inequality across the country that hurts ordinary hard-working people hit while a wealthy few reap the rewards.

We can bring an end to austerity and we will fight tooth and nail to defeat the public sector pay cap that is unfair, callous and tells you everything you need to know about the present miserable Tory Government.

Labour wants prosperity for all, whether you work in the private or public sector, are self-employed or run a business.

It’s why we need another General Election and the terrified Tories refuse to call one.