Theresa May says she 'can't just promise people more money' after being asked to end public sector pay cap

Jeremy Corbyn replies that she ‘had no problem’ finding £1bn to support DUP deal to prop up Government

Theresa May says she 'can't just promise people more money' after being asked to end public sector pay cap

Theresa May has insisted it is not possible to go around “promising people more money” as she faced criticism from the Labour leader over the public sector pay cap.

While Ms May said she recognised the “sacrifice” made by the public sector in the last seven years of austerity, she defended the cap at the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the parliamentary recess.

She continued: “The right honourable gentlemen seems to think it’s possible to go around promising people more money and promise that nobody will have to pay for it. He and I both do value public sector workers. We both value our public sector services. The difference is on this side of the House we know you have to pay for them.”

But Mr Corbyn quipped back saying the Prime Minister “had no problem” finding money for her deal with the Democratic Unionist Party following the general election last month.

During the session, Labour MPs could also be heard shouting “Give them a pay rise” after Ms May praised the emergency services for their response to the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.

“The Conservatives have been in office for 84 months – 52 of those months have seen a real fall in wages and income in our country,” Mr Corbyn added.

Mr Corbyn quoted Ms May’s pre-election pledge to ensure everyone would feel the benefits of a strong economy, asking: “Do you agree you cannot have a strong economy when six million people are earning less than the living wage?”

Ms May replied: “I’ll tell you when you can’t have a strong economy, it’s when you adopt Labour Party policies of half a trillion pounds extra borrowing which will mean more spending, more borrowing, higher prices, higher taxes and fewer jobs.

“The [last] Labour government crashed the economy, the Conservative Government has come in – more people in work, more people in jobs, more investment.

During the session, the Labour leader also claimed that a recently reported stall in life expectancy was a consequence of austerity economics, introduced by the Conservatives in 2010. His comments came after a former government adviser claimed a century-long rise in life expectancy was “pretty close to having ground to a halt” and had stalled since 2010.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who previously chaired a government-commissioned review into health inequalities, said he was “deeply concerned” and said “it is a matter of urgency to try and examine why this has happened”.

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