Rishi Sunak says one per cent pay rise for NHS staff is “fair”
The Chancellor has said the planned one per cent rise - tantamount to a real terms pay cut - is "fair" for the people who risked their lives to save ours
To date, at least 225 NHS workers have officially died from Covid-19 - but the figure is likely to be higher.
At the Commons Treasury Committee today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "For a matter of fairness and also to protect people's jobs in the public sector we set out a targeted approach to public-sector pay which we thought was proportionate, fair and reasonable."
He added: "What that actually did was ensure those in the NHS would actually receive a pay rise next year."
This sentiment seems to be foreshadowed by health minister, Nadine Dorries, who described herself as "pleasantly surprised" by the Chancellor's planned one per cent offer.
However, what the Chancellor failed to mention is that the pay rise, when adjusted for inflation, is effectively a pay cut.
Sunak's words come after backlash from the healthcare workers, politicians, and the general public - who overwhelmingly support higher pay increases.
Even celebrities like Gary Neville, have joined the resistance tweeting: "June 21st we should all protest in our cities against this brutal and disgusting action!"
June 21st we should all protest in our cities against this brutal and disgusting action! RT for yes and let’s get a campaign to change it !
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 5, 2021
Last week, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced plans for industrial action, with a £35 million fund raised to support workers for loss of earnings.
Unions are also encouraging the public to stand on their doorsteps and slow-clap in protest.
The Chancellor's comments also follow criticism from Labour leader, Keir Starmer, today - who kicked off Labour's campaigning for regional elections this May.
"Their masks are slipping, and we’re seeing the real face of this Conservative Party: out of touch, and out of ideas," he said.
"A Party that gives a 40 per cent pay rise to Dominic Cummings, but a pay cut for our nurses."