The Chancellor’s budget on Wednesday is expected to include a pay rise for NHS staff which is above the current 1% pay cap.
Reports indicate that Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has put aside funds to provide nurses and NHS staff with a much-needed pay rise following 7 years of a 1% pay cap – which has left many healthcare staff ‘at breaking point’.
A recent Royal College of Nursing (RCN) study revealed that 70% of healthcare staff reported feeling financially worse off than they were five years ago and 24% thinking of leaving their job because of money worries. The nursing union has warned that any pay rise must be fully funded and should not be taken from the current NHS budget.
Experts are however speculating that a pay rise could also lead to contractual changes similar to that junior doctors saw earlier this year – with unsociable hours payments and NHS pension contributions becoming probable targets.
Hammond has been criticised this week after appearing to claim that Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, has ‘exaggerated’ claims of an NHS crisis.
A spokesperson for the Royal College of Nursing said:
“We will wait to see details on Wednesday but nursing staff need a pay rise above inflation and the Government must give the NHS the funds to cover it.”
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, has criticised the Governments stance on public sector pay, in a statement he said:
“Giving public service workers a pat on the back isn’t going to put food on their table, petrol in their cars or pay their bills”.
The Government will set out its next Budget on Wednesday 22 November 2017.