Rishi Sunak has said during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) has vowed to bring in “tough laws” to deal with “unreasonable” unions as tens of thousands of workers are on strike this month.
Sunak insisted that the government have been “reasonable” over public pay sector pay demands whilst the Labour leader urged Sunak during PMQs to do more over the ever growing wave of strikes.
Sir Keir Starmer said, “He should stop grandstanding, stop sitting on his hands, get around the table and resolve these issues.”
The Prime Minister replied, “Hard-working families right now in this country are facing challenges.
“The Government has been reasonable. It’s accepted the recommendations of an independent pay review body, giving pay rises in many cases higher than the private sector.
“But if the union leaders continue to be unreasonable, then it is my duty to take action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the British public.
“That’s why, Mr Speaker, since I became Prime Minister I have been working for new tough laws to protect people from this disruption.”
The Health Secretary has warned on Wednesday that ambulances may not attend should an elderly person has a fall as more than 10,000 ambulance workers are to strike on 21 and 28 December.
Steve Barclay told Sky News that there is “four categories of call: Life-threatening, which is Category 1, emergency, which is Category 2. Those tend to be things like heart attacks and strokes.
“So your case would often be classed as a Category 3 or Category 4.
“At the moment, the trade unions are saying those things wouldn’t be covered.”
Barclay was asked if an ambulance would attend if someone has a heart attack, he said, “Well, the indication from the trade unions is that it would.”
The Health Secretary was then asked if they would attend if someone was having a possible stroke, Barclay replied, “Well we are having those discussions.
“Obviously the trade unions said to us they didn’t want to get into the details of exactly what derogations, what things would be covered and what would not until they announced the date of the strike.
“Now they have done that, there are discussions that will take place tomorrow in terms of what exactly will be covered by that.”