NHS 1% pay rise is a ‘kick in the teeth’ for health care workers – Paul Blomfield speaks out

Written by Hannah Richardson

The Sheffield Central MP has criticised the government for breaking faith with NHS staff following their proposed one per cent pay rise after originally promising a 2.1 per cent increase.

MP Paul Blomfield, who has actively denounced the cuts to the NHS outlined in the budget, spoke of the need to reward NHS staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

He said: “The government plans are actually going back on what was an already meagre 2.1 per cent increase to which they had already legally committed, which is frankly extraordinary.

“I think their hypocrisy of calling for the nation to applaud health workers and then kicking them in the teeth in this way is shocking.”

Mr Blomfield is not alone in criticising the proposal. Amongst others, London Mayor Sadiq Kahn took to Twitter to brand the pay rise, which works out at around £3.50 a week extra for an experienced nurse, an insult.

 

However, Downing Street have defended the action, saying they have proposed what they consider to be an affordable plan given the economic burden of the pandemic on the country, while still ensuring that the NHS are not included in the planned public sector pay freeze.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said in a briefing: “I think it is fair to take into account all the considerations, the incredible hard work of those in the NHS, which means that they are not part of the overall public sector pay freeze, and also what’s affordable as a nation.”

The public service union, Unison, has also condemned the pay rise and is calling for the public to show their support of the NHS through a slow clap on Thursday.

 

In a press release on Friday, Unison’s General secretary, Christina McAnea said: “Millions stood on doorsteps and clapped for health staff who’ve given their all. Let’s now stand up for their right to fair wages.

“Give the chancellor a slow hand clap for his miserly one per cent. Times may be tough, but this deal is below-inflation and derisory.”

Mr Blomfield praised this great initiative from health workers and said he would be standing on his doorstep on Thursday to show his support.

He added: “Clearly we won’t be seeing Boris Johnson outside No.10 or Rishi Sunak outside No.11, milking the publicity like they did earlier in the crisis.”

Written by Hannah Richardson

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