The Nurse who the BBC loved as she lied to Theresa May and the Nation

Tom Winnifrith Saturday 3 June 2017


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For most of us the highlight of the BBC Question Time Leaders debate was seeing a sweating Jeremy Corbyn being laughed at for his dismal answers on nuclear weapons. Second best was yet another refusal to condemn folks he has previously described as "heroes," that is to say the murdering bastards of the IRA. But for the BBC the highlight was a Nurse bashing Theresa May for "cutting her take-home pay" since 2009. The BBC did not bother pointing out that the nurse was lying and Mrs May was too polite to point that out. But the Nurse did tell a 100% slam dunk lie.

Her claim of a cut - a line the Guardian likes to use as well - is based on the fact that Nurses have indeed have had below inflation wage increases since 2009. So in inflation adjusted terms their headline pay, ceteris paribus, is c14% lower. But their actual pay is higher. But the facts - if the BBC could be bothered with such matters - are even worse

You see the wicked Tories have penalised low paid workers because - when not eating babie - they spend all their time hating the poor, by massively increasing the amount that low paid workers earn without paying any tax - the tax allowance. What total bastards the Tories are. So a nurse earning £23,319 in 2016/17 will get "take-home pay" of £19,144.90. Let us assume that this nurse had enjoyed no pay increase at all since 2009 which is not the case, her take-home pay under those nice folks in Labour would have been £18,075.60.

And of course it gets worse. While all public sector workers bleat about low annual wage increases that is not the whole story. Across the public sector there is a culture of staff grading which means that each year - largely by dint of just being there for a number of years - a good number of staff move up a grade and get a pay rise. So while nurses will all get a 1% pay rise this year, a good number will actually get rather more.

And so that brings us back to the nurse on BBCQT who asserted that here "take-home pay" had fallen since 2009. There is only one way to describe that statement - as seen on numerous BBC reports of the highlights - it is a total fucking lie.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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