Being passionate about politics, I try to avoid talking about it too much, especially in sermon's or blogs. But the 1% pay offer to NHS workers is shocking. Most of us will have friends who work in the NHS and during the pandemic we have clapped them, prayed for them, and worried about them, not just that they would be safe but also how they would cope with the stress and exhaustion of the last year.
If any group of people deserved an inflation beating pay rise it was them, or at least the pay rise they had already been promised. A few days after the Health secretary explained that 1% was all we could afford, we were told that the Prime ministers £33 billion bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland was still being explored. So whatever we are told there is an element of priorities here. It is easy to list examples of spending that make the government look bad, £9 million for a new media centre in Downing Street, or £4 billion to renovate the House of Commons. £849million for the eat out to help out which was blamed for 1 in 6 Covid outbreaks. That however is perhaps unfair, after all even essential spending can be presented in a negative way with the benefit of hindsight.
The point I would come back to is that we can afford the things we prioritise. If we have a debt of honour we should pay it. Veterans of the armed services might well think that would be a first, but sometimes it is important to ask moral questions when we spend our money. What we really believe in is often shown in how we use our resources. If you want to know a Churches theology, look as much at the treasurers report as the prayers said. If you want to know how indebted we really feel to the NHS workers who have taken us through this horrendous year, do not judge it by how often we call them heroes or how loudly we clap. Judge it in how we choose to spend our money.