Ann Widdecombe erupted at her fellow Jeremy Vine panellist as she warned of the impact pay rises would have on growing inflation across the UK. Ms Widdecombe accused the unions of failing to understand the pressure meeting their demands would put on the economy of the whole country. Transport workers have agreed this week on another day of strikes on July 27, threatening Britons with another 24 hours of disruption after a week of chaos in June.
Ms Widdecombe argued caving on the 10 percent rise demands would consequently result in a boom in inflation.
She said: “You won’t accept the simple fact that if pay rises to match inflation, all you get is more inflation in order to cover those pay rises.
“That won’t solve the issue.”
Mr Dempsey hit back: “Those profits just vanish out of the economy, they’ve got no impact on inflation.”
Ms Widdecombe continued: “If you don’t make any profits there certainly won’t be any investment, is there?”
The RMT chief cut in: “What we’re doing is subsidizing profits…”
But Ms Widdecombe shut him off: “What you’re doing is inconveniencing the public to get an unreasonable pay rise.
“You’ve been offered a decent pay rise.”
Mr Dempsey however pointed out CEOs had been reported to have received multi-million bonuses despite the transport sector suffering a severe crisis further exacerbated by the pandemic.
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“We’ve got rolling stock-losing companies in this country who took £3bn in the worst year of the health emergency. Can we afford that?”
Ms Widdecombe fumed: “We’re back in the 1970s with you. Back to the 1970s.”
The inflation rate hit a 40-year high in June, rising to 9.1 percent.
The increase comes at a time when millions of Britons are struggling to cope with growing costs in energy and gas.