The MP for Torridge and West Devon has issued a warning about the impact that the demands of strikers might have on the economy.
Sir Geoffrey Cox has reacted to today's strikes, which have seen teachers, train drivers, civil servants, bus drivers, and university lecturers join the industrial action, which is said to be the biggest day of industrial action in a decade.
He said that while he understands those who are striking work hard and feel strongly about their case, accepting their demands would risk a wage-price spiral which would affect the Government's battle to drive down inflation.
Sir Geoffrey said: “I understand those who are striking work hard and feel strongly about their individual case but while the Government is battling to drive down inflation, which has soared throughout the world, blighting everyone’s household budgets with rising prices and interest rates, it simply cannot risk a wage-price spiral that could so easily be the consequence of accepting these demands now.”
The reaction from the Conservative MP for Torridge and West Devon comes after Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister said at Prime Minister's Question that children deserve to be in school.
In a response to Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Leader of the Opposition, the PM said that teachers had been given the highest pay rise in 30 years, including a 9% raise for newly qualified teachers, adding: "I am clear that our children's education is precious and they deserve to be in school, being taught. And actually, the party opposite [Labour] would do well to say that strikes are wrong and we should be backing our school children."
The PCS (Public and Commercial Services union), representing civil servants and one of the unions taking industrial action today, explained why it was taking action.
Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary, said: "The government’s position is unsustainable. It’s not feasible that they can sit back with this unprecedented amount of industrial action growing, because it’s half a million today, next week we have paramedics and we have nurses, and there will then be the firefighters. So, the amount of people voting for action is going to grow and I don’t believe the government will find it can get away with putting its head down while all this disruption takes place"