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New analysis by the House of Commons library has estimated that the NHS will suffer cuts worth £2.7 billion after the government miscalculated the pension costs of public sector workers.
The Labour Party, which released the research, said that the money, the result of underestimating the pension costs of all public sector workers by as much as £4 billion a year, could otherwise have paid for the salaries of over 61,900 nurses.
The government has offered to cover departments’ additional costs for one year only, leaving the NHS to soak up two years’ worth of additional pension costs totalling £2.7 billion before the next election.
Peter Dowd, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Billions of pounds are being quietly cut from our NHS, due to a poisonous cocktail of disastrous economic mismanagement and spiteful behaviour. These cuts are the equivalent of paying the salary of over 61,000 nurses a year. Nurses whom we desperately need after eight years of crushing austerity in our NHS.”
“The Chancellor must immediately own up and commit to meeting these extra costs, not just push them on to slashed and struggling public services. All this just goes to show, you cannot trust the Tories with our NHS.”
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