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HomeNHS 1% pay rise is not a cut, Hancock says

NHS 1% pay rise is not a cut, Hancock says

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Matt Hancock told a committee of MPs that NHS workers had been “carved out” of the pay freeze across the rest of the public sector due to the pressure on public funds.

Giving evidence to the Health Select Committee, he said that because inflation is below 1%, the proposed hike is an increase.

When asked why it was 1% when the NHS 10-year plan made a 2.1% provision for annual pay increases for NHS workers, he said: “The NHS was carved out of the pay freeze that has been applied due to the enormous pressure on the public finances – that has been applied to everyone else in the public sector.

“We put in place evidence reflecting what is affordable and we of course will study what the pay review body says.”

Pressed on whether it was a pay increase or a real-terms pay cut, Mr Hancock added: “Inflation is below 1% and therefore a proposed 1% pay rise is indeed a pay rise, and that’s simply a matter of fact.”

But a Royal College of Nursing spokesman said: “The Government is digging in despite public anger and clear support for NHS staff.

“In the middle of a pandemic, ministers cannot justify giving just £3.50 extra per week to nursing staff.”

The Government has faced a furious outcry after calling for a headline increase of just 1% in its submission to the NHS pay review body.

Ministers have argued that it was all that could be afforded following the massive hit to the public finances caused by the pandemic at a time when most public sector workers were facing a pay freeze.

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