The time has come to lift the blanket public sector 1% pay cap. With prices now rising, there is very serious pressure on those on low incomes - including nurses - who are such dedicated public servants. I'm concerned too that if we don't change course, places like GCHQ will find it harder to recruit and retain the best talent.
But Labour's amendment was absolutely the wrong way to go about this. Their blanket free-for-all would have crashed the fragile public finances, and was a blatant tactic to bring down the Government just as Brexit negotiations are underway. It also would have meant pay hikes across the board - including for senior management - instead of focusing on those most in need.
I want us to prioritise those on low pay. The Government should listen to the independent pay review bodies, which will be reporting back shortly, and respond decisively.