Unions urge Theresa May to scrap NHS pay cap

Health unions increase pressure on government to use Queen’s speech to lift one per cent restriction on pay rises.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been urged by bodies, who represent 1.3 million health service staff, to scrap the pay cap policy in the Queen’s speech. They have called it unfair, unpopular and dangerous to patient safety.

The plea, which comes from doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care professionals, comes as May faces intense pressure to scrap the cap. The cap was introduced in 2010 and has limited NHS staff to one per cent pay rises or below. It is legislated to continue until 2020.

NHS staff have become increasingly annoyed about the pay cap as inflation has escalated from 0.3 per cent in May 2016 to 2.9 per cent in May 2017, its highest level in four years.

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Health Secretary said: “Our hard-working NHS staff deserve better than to be taken for granted by a Tory government content with demanding more for less. Theresa May’s utter disregard for health staff was clear when she shrugged off the idea of nurses using food banks. However, the election result proves that the public will no longer tolerate this government’s neglect and disregard towards those who care for us at our time of need.”

Each one per cent increase in staff pay would cost the NHS a predicted £500 million.

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