This year we saw the government spend a whopping £1bn on a deal to secure their victory after the hung parliament fiasco, after watching public sector workers being told that there was no “magic money tree” to fund their (quite frankly well deserved) pay raises. For years now, public service workers have had their wages held back, frozen and capped by 1% in the name of austerity, despite the rising cost of living.
So in order to address this in true Don’t Panic style, we decided to take a satirical approach in a film made with UNISON – one of the largest trade unions in the UK. ‘Pats on The Back’ challenges the hypocritical attitude of the government, commending public sector worker’s dedication and hard work, yet refusing to lift the public sector pay cap. The film features glamorous living legend Stephanie Beacham, taking the audience through a situation many of the UK population unfortunately know all too well: realising you are “completely destitute” when attempting to pay for our grocery shopping – only this time receiving a ‘pat on the back’ as a form of useless currency.
The film ends with an acknowledgement that a ‘pat on the back’ is not enough to get by on for public sector workers, with a call to action to sign a petition and apply pressure to the government to remove the pay cap on public sector workers’ wages.
With our unfortunate and expensive coalition with the DUP alongside the recent Paradise Papers scandal, it’s easy to see that while there isn’t a literal magic money tree growing anywhere – the money we do have isn’t being directed to those working hardest because of greed… and that just isn’t good enough. It’s time to pay up now, and we hope you agree too.