Hardworking NHS workers would be given a pay rise if Labour wins the general election the party has announced.
Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said NHS staff had been undervalued, overworked and underpaid under the Tories, after years of pay freezes for nurses, midwives and other key workers.
Whilst the party will be providing further information about this plan in its forthcoming manifesto, the policy would be funded by raising corporation tax which has been repeatedly cut by former chancellor George Osborne in recent years. Independent low-pay advisers would specify the levels of pay for NHS staff and rates would take into account the cost of living.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth’s Labour Leader, paid a visit to QA Hospital in Cosham today. Welcoming the policy announcement he said:
“Doctors, nurses, and every single member of NHS staff do their bit to help make our NHS the pride of Britain.
I know only too well from people like my own mum, a hospital cleaner in our city, what a brilliant job NHS staff do day in, day out and we see this across the health service in our city, day in, day out.
It was good to visit QA today and see some of the services the hospital provides directly.
This Labour plan is in recognition of the effort, hard work and determination of staff to deliver vital health services for all in our country. The plan has my full support for Portsmouth’s NHS workers”.
In March, the government announced that about 1.3 million NHS staff would receive a 1% pay rise. This amounts to a drop in real wages. Adjusting for inflation, a nurse, for example, would have earned £30,929 in 2010, but only £28,462 last year.
The settlement for 2017-18 is the sixth year in a row in which NHS staff’s annual pay rise has been lower than the cost of living – inflation is running at 3.2% and affecting recruitment and retention of staff.
Latest research suggests that there are currently 24,000 nursing vacancies, according to the Royal College of Nursing as roles become harder to fill.